85% of PRS tenants are happy with their landlord

85% of PRS tenants are happy with their landlord

16:19 PM, 14th March 2022, About 2 months ago 15

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Most people renting their home in the private rented sector are happy with their property and landlord, new research reveals today.

An independent report by the Social Market Foundation, commissioned by Paragon Bank, found that contrary to some narratives suggesting renting is an inherently unhappy experience, a majority of people who rent from a private landlord are content with what they get for their money.

The SMF report, Where next for the private rented sector? found that 81% of renters said they are happy with their current property, and 85% said they are satisfied with their landlord.

The greatest source of dissatisfaction among tenants is with “being a renter”, though only a minority of renters (34%) said they are dissatisfied with this status. The SMF said that this suggests that where people are unhappy in the private rented sector it is not about their living circumstances, but about the fact of having to rent rather than own a home.

The SMF said despite tenants’ current views of renting, major trends in housing over the coming years mean that several policy changes are needed to ensure the rented sector continues to work well for tenants.

Only half of renters expect to leave the private rented sector in the next 15 years, suggesting that significant numbers will remain renters for long periods.

The SMF’s key recommendation is to enable renters to build wealth while remaining in the private rental sector, addressing their number one concern: the financial opportunity cost of renting, which have prevented savings, for a deposit or later life needs.

READ THE REPORT

Several innovative schemes could be implemented, including ‘deposit builder ISAs’ that offer a financial return on deposits, or ‘rentership’ models that offer tenants stakes in their building.

Other SMF recommendations to the Government include:

  • Increase the stability of tenancy agreements – A large majority of renters support a fixed minimum contract length: 69% would be in favour of setting this at 24 months.
  • Giving renters more control over their homes – making it easier to keep pets or make reasonable alterations, such as to décor or energy efficiency.
  • Increase the accountability of landlords – Through a ‘Good Home, Good Landlord’ kitemark scheme, developed in consultation with renters to recognise landlords that offer good, and not just decent, accommodation.
  • Improve the standards of private rented properties – Offer tax incentives for landlords to invest in improvements that align with Good Home Good Landlord kitemark standards, including green investments.

Paragon Bank Managing Director of Mortgages Richard Rowntree said: “The outdated and tired clichés around privately renting need to be challenged and I welcome the findings from SMF’s report.

“In our experience, the vast majority of landlords seek to provide a good quality home and enjoy a healthy relationship with their tenants; the significant investment in private rented property by landlords has helped drive up standards over the past 15 years and today homes in the sector are generally newer, larger and more energy-efficient than ever before.

“We always seek ways to improve the experience of renting further and welcome the recommendations contained in the report. People from all walks of life now call the private rented sector home, and we must strive to create a sector that meets everybody’s needs.”

Aveek Bhattacharya, SMF Economist, and one of the report authors, said: “Dominant cultural narratives about the private rented sector paint a misleading picture. In contrast to the horror stories that get wide circulation, the majority of renters are satisfied with their living conditions and have decent relationships with their landlords. It is absolutely right that the Government should seek to help the minority with poor standard accommodation and unprofessional landlords. At the same time, it needs to think harder about what it can offer the typical renter – who is largely happy with their circumstances today, but has doubts about whether they want to keep renting long-term.

“Giving renters more control over their homes – allowing them to keep pets or decorate would help. So would incentivizing landlords to make improvements to properties to make them good, and not just decent. But perhaps the biggest challenge is developing policies that can persuade renters that they are not missing out financial security and stability if they don’t own their home.”



Comments

by Old Mrs Landlord

0:22 AM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

So the report's authors and the Bank which commissioned it affirm what landlords and others with wide experience already know - "the dominant cultural narratives about the PRS paint a misleading picture" and almost all tenants are satisfied with their home and their landlord. Yet they go on to urge increasing the accountability of landlords (the 140 or so regulations with which we must comply are clearly not enough) and recommend a kitemark scheme. They want us to commit our valuable, hard-won assets into the hands of total strangers for at least two years when it seems more than likely that the removal of Section 21 will in any case create indefinite tenancies with opportunities for landlords to regain possession in only a few specific circumstances while tenants are free to leave with minimal notice. About half of landlords already allow pets and let tenants redecorate, despite pet deposits having been outlawed and many flats being unsuitable for pets, and landlords suffering the devaluation of their properties by amateur decorators with dubious tastes in decor.
They find that the biggest cause of dissatisfaction among renters (though only 34% of them) is the fact that they are renters and not owners. So almost two-thirds are content to rent and it is hardly the landlords' fault that the others can't afford to buy. Despite this the authors and Paragon want landlords to spend more to improve rental properties still further, apparently failing to recognise that this would cause rents to rise, making it harder for tenants to save a deposit for a home of their own. They conclude by saying that it is challenging to develop policies to persuade renters that they are not missing out on financial security and stability if they don't own their home! This is not a challenge it is an impossibility because it is obvious that if you live in a house owned by someone else there is bound to be an element of insecurity and instability. The authors of the report reach the conclusion that government should perhaps introduce a subsidised ISA or set up a sort of part-rent, part-own scheme to give renters a stake in the building to enable them to become owners. Congratulations, you have dreamed up an excellent way of incentivising private landlords to sell up thus exacerbating the shortage of rentals even further. Brilliant!

by david porter

10:32 AM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Politicos mainly suffer from Dunning Kruger.

by Old Mrs Landlord

10:50 AM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by david porter at 15/03/2022 - 10:32Not sure who you mean by "politicos". This is a study by researchers, commissioned by a BTL lender. It makes recommendations for politicans but there is little likelihood these suggestions will be adopted as they are not sufficiently left wing for our current "Conservative" government as demonstrated by recent anti-landlord policies.

by Seething Landlord

10:53 AM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by david porter at 15/03/2022 - 10:32
Is that intended as a comment on a study by academics or a random observation?

by david porter

11:11 AM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

The regulations and Statutes which landlords have to comply with are put together by local government or national politicians.
It is widely known that these people could not organise a drinks party compliant with regulations or even a piss up in a brewery.
A study of Dunning Kruger would seem to confirm this.Many of their policies have unintended consequences.

by Seething Landlord

11:46 AM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by david porter at 15/03/2022 - 11:11
So it was a random observation rather than a comment on this particular report.

How would a "study of Dunning Kruger" (whatever you think that means) confirm that politicians in general are incompetent?

by Luke P

16:25 PM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 15/03/2022 - 11:46
Because...Dunning Kruger.

by Seething Landlord

17:23 PM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 15/03/2022 - 16:25
What is that supposed to mean?

by david porter

17:36 PM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

if you dont know Dunning Kruger do you know Duckworth Lewis?

by Seething Landlord

17:57 PM, 15th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by david porter at 15/03/2022 - 17:36
I don't know Dunning or Kruger personally. I am sure that they are/were perfectly respectable psychologists but their relevance to this discussion escapes me.

As for the other two gentlemen, introducing them into the debate is just not cricket.

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