13:28 PM, 25th February 2011, About 11 years ago
The number of private renters is increasing while home ownership is in decline, according to the latest housing survey for England from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Home ownership peaked at 14.8 million in 2005-06 and slipped back to 14.5 million in 2009-10.
At the same time, private sector renting – buy to let – grew by 1.3 million from just over 2 million homes in 2001 to 3.4 million in 2009-10.
Rents in 2009-10 were an average £153 per week for private rentals, compared with £75 per week for those in social housing.
With local housing allowance high on the agenda for many landlords, the survey reveals almost one in four private renters (24%) received benefit hand outs to pay their rents, while the figure was more than six out of 10 (62%) for people renting social housing.
Applying the figures to the number of private renters, 816,000 tenants receive housing benefit that is likely to be cut in October as a result of the government review of benefits.
This could cause rent payment and arrears for thousands of landlords – especially as the UK Supreme Court have ruled tenants cannot be evicted without considering the impact on their human rights.
The number of people moving home has also steadily declined in recent years.
Around 1.8 million people moved home in the preceding 12 months, down from 2 million in 2008-09 and 2.6 million in 2006-07. Just about all these movers lived in privately rented or owned homes.
The number of homes in a poor state is also in decline – dropping from 7.4 million in 2008 to 6.7 million in 2009, although the 2009 figure still represents a third of all homes (33%).
Less well-off families are likely to leave homes in a poor state of repair – 12% of poorer families lived in damp homes compared with 7% of other households.
Private rented homes were more likely to suffer from damp than other homes – 15% compared with 8% privately owned homes and 10% of social housing.
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