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84% of PRS tenants happy with their accommodation

Wednesday 18 July 2018

The latest English Housing Survey, published by the Government, shows that one in five people in England now live in the private rented sector, a figure that has dramatically increased since the survey's current format was introduced back in 1996/97.

The report shows that the majority of tenants in the private rented sector (PRS) are happy with their current accommodation, with 84% of participants (compared to 81% of the social rented sector) indicating their satisfaction.

Another area in which the PRS has excelled the social rented sector, is in tenant satisfaction with landlord repairs and maintenance. 72% of private tenants noted satisfaction with the way their landlord carries out maintenance and repairs, contrasting with 66% of social renters.

Encouragingly, a decreasing number of private rental properties fall into the over-occupied category, which is now at 5%. But the PRS is still the most likely tenure to fail the Statutory Minimum Housing Standard with at least 15% of private rental properties having at least one Category 1 hazard, although this percentage has halved since 2008.

The survey indicated that 60% of those surveyed stated their intention to eventually buy property. The majority was made up of 16-24 year olds, who made up 81%. In 2016-17, 68% of 266,000 moves out of the private rented sector were to owner-occupation.

The PRS has doubled in size since 1996/97, with the Survey noting 4.7 million households now live in privately rented homes. The mean figure for people to stay in their privately rented home is 3.9 years.

People over the age of 75 have an average of 17 years in their private rented property, whereas 16-24 year olds have an average stay of less than a year. Generally, the number of private renters across all age groups is rising with 46% of 25-34 year olds also now living in private rentals (a statistic up by 19% in ten years).

With current calls for longer tenancies, it must be noted that it ignores the need for short-term tenancies which younger age groups and students prefer.

Length of tenancies

The Government has recently launched a consultation on three-year tenancies in the PRS, which closes on 26 August. 

The consultation seeks views on how a longer tenancy model could be implemented. The Government is also looking at whether to mandate the proposed longer-term model as the ‘default’ option, with the opportunity to opt for a shorter term let if requested by the tenant. Alternatively, the Government say that financial incentives to landlords could also be explored to encourage longer term tenancies.

They also suggest that exemptions could be put in place for such tenancies that could not realistically last for three years.

You can respond online or respond directly to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government by emailing PRSLongerTenancies@communities.gsi.gov.uk

ARLA Propertymark will be responding and you can send views and comments to Tim Douglas, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer timdouglas@propertymark.co.uk who will be collating the response.