Tenants pay up to 43% of earnings on rent

Tenants pay up to 43% of earnings on rent

0:01 AM, 19th January 2023, About A year ago 6

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The average tenant is paying 23.5% of their net earnings on rent – and up 42.8% in England’s least affordable rental market, research reveals.

The findings from Ocasa looked at the latest household earnings data to find the monthly net income across England and how much tenants spend putting a roof over their heads.

The research shows that the average household earns £4,030 after tax but the average monthly cost of rent is £946 which is 23.5% of household income.

London remains the least affordable region for tenants

And, despite being home to the largest household earnings by far, London remains the least affordable region for the nation’s tenants.

In the capital, the average rent is £1,672 per month which requires 33.3% of the average monthly household net income of £5,026.

In the South West and South East, the proportion of net earnings required to cover the cost of renting also sits above the national average at 25.1% and 25% respectively.

‘Push rental prices ever higher’

Jack Godby, the sales and marketing director at Ocasa, said: “The high cost of renting is certainly nothing new, but we’ve seen a lack of suitable stock, coupled with consistent and increasing demand from tenants, continue to push rental prices ever higher.

“In addition, we’re simply not seeing the same levels of growth when it comes to earnings, and this has caused the rental affordability gap to widen.”

He adds: “As a result, the average tenant across England is paying almost a quarter of their post-tax income on the cost of renting.

“At the same time, the cost-of-living crisis has stretched them even thinner, with the additional costs associated with a rental property climbing considerably in recent months.

“With so many of us reliant on the rental sector, it’s of vital importance, now more than ever, that we address the high cost of renting.”

Least affordable areas at local authority level

With London being the most expensive place to rent, it also dominates the least affordable areas at local authority level.

Westminster is England’s least affordable rental market where tenants can expect to pay 42.8% of their earnings on rent.

Kensington, Chelsea and Newham rank second at 38%, followed by Islington at 37.8% and Camden on 37.5%.

Outside of London, it’s Seven Oaks that is home to the least affordable rental market, where tenants are paying 37.3% of their income on renting.

Bristol (37.1%) and Oxford (36.7%) also make the top 10 least affordable rental markets with Hammersmith and Fulham (36.7%) and Hackney (36.5%) completing the list.

In contrast, Hyndburn in Lancashire is the nation’s most affordable rental market, where the average cost of renting requires just 13.6% of the average household’s net income.

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northern landlord

12:10 PM, 19th January 2023, About A year ago

Rents are set by supply and demand. Plenty of demand and little supply means higher rents and new rents will always be what the market can stand, why wouldn’t they be, when every other business operates on the same principle? Also don’t forget that landlords’ costs have also increased especially for repairs and maintenance. The article says that “it’s of vital importance, now more than ever, that we address the high cost of renting” but offers no solutions. Not surprising as the only proper solution is that the supply of new affordable housing either for sale or rent needs to be dramatically increased and based on past performance this will never happen. That only leaves the populist knee jerk reaction of rent controls and eviction bans that in effect turn PRS landlords into social landlords. While social enterprises can run on a not for profit basis you can’t expect PRS landlords to operate in the same way.
If rent controls came in limiting rises to say 5% you can be pretty sure that every landlord will religiously increase rents as and when they can. This will include the many landlords who have not so far routinely increased rents and there are a considerable number of these especially amongst smaller landlords who have some rapport with tenants and maybe felt guilty about applying rent rises to tenants who are nearly friends. Now they will have the excuse of saying it is the law so the guilt aspect will be removed.


14:52 PM, 19th January 2023, About A year ago

If these income averages are accurate, these rents sound very affordable. Of course, there will be some tenants earning much less but still struggling to pay these types of rent.

Judith Wordsworth

15:09 PM, 19th January 2023, About A year ago

In the 1950's my parents spent 50% of their take home pay on rent, and then on a mortgage.
When I first bought in the 1980'S it was similar.
But then, in both scenarios, eating out was a treat for birthdays or very special occasions, take-aways were once in a blue moon, we all took packed lunches to school/work, we cooked and if using the oven cooked more than 1 thing eg a casserole, pudding and a cake, made use of leftovers, going to the cinema/theatre/concerts was also a treat.
I still see restaurants with diners, people buying convenience foods and take-aways as the norm, having expensive mobile phones and subscriptions, spending money on entertainment etc.
When money is tight you cut your cloth to your budget and make sure your home, whether rent or mortgage, is paid as a priority, then the utilities and food. And got a job to pay for all this and not expect the state to pay unless for exceptional circumstances.
Maybe this is something that should be taught in schools and colleges/Universities.
My tenant, 3 years ago, was told not to get a job unless it paid more than £24,000 as she would lose her "free rent free and council tax" just for starters!

The Forever Tenant

15:50 PM, 19th January 2023, About A year ago

It feels to me like there is a little manipulation of the statistics on this one. At least, not reporting it on the same level. It's difficult to explain, but I'll see what I can do.

The first thing I noted is that their figure for average net household income seems way off. I cannot find figures that match that anywhere. The closest I can find on the ONS website is a Median of £31,400 and mean of £37,600. Not the £48,000 they are suggesting.

The amount for average rent also seems a little low as I believe I have seen reports recently showing average rent to be in the area of £1,030, but I may be wrong on that.

Certainly from my own experience the rent is a much higher percentage of our take home pay than suggested above and we are not living in a high rental place by any means.

northern landlord

15:59 PM, 19th January 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 19/01/2023 - 15:09I can certainly empathise with Judith about her upbringing in the 1950’s mine was the same." We can't afford cafe prices" was my parents constant refrain.. However, I can see where her tenant is coming from. We are told there are loads of jobs available. There might be, but a lot are low skill short hours/zero hours (to save employers having to pay National insurance) and minimum wage. The difference between what you could get on benefits as an unskilled worker and what you could earn might not be that much. How much extra per week is needed to tempt someone to swap from lying in bed late, having a leisurely breakfast, watching a bit of TV, pottering about all day or doing a bit of cash in hand work for getting up early doors grabbing breakfast and struggling into work every day on costly iffy public transport and only ending up a few pounds better off at the end of the week and no time for yourself? The Government are not generous with benefits but employers are even less generous with wages. This why jobs remain unfilled. Maybe some of the so called “workshy” are just choosing a better work life balance. In a way I can’t blame them, just as long as they can afford to pay the rent!


20:53 PM, 19th January 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave Coppin at 19/01/2023 - 19:41
I did do a proper job for 25 years and saved my money bought assets along the way and refurbished to high quality accommodation and where as the social landlords and housing associations never invested to bring the quality of housing up and took a 'passive' role in maintaining them. Decent LLs on this forum are business people who know the importance of maintaining the quality of their properties.

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