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Tenants are struggling to survive as home ownership declines

Figures from academic research show a third of tenants have less than £100 in savings.

Nigel Lewis

Private renters have grown in number by a million since 2010 but these tenants are struggling financially much more than their mortgaged counterparts, according to research carried out by the University of Bristol.

Its report on renters, which was commissioned by money website Momentum UK, reveals that renters spend half their salary on rent every month, go on fewer holidays, save less money and are more likely to make forced cutbacks than those with a mortgage.

Cut back on food

A third of private renters have less than £100 in savings, a fifth have cut back on food expenditure over the past year, 11% have reduce their heating to get by while 14% have borrowed money from friends or family to survive.

The research follows recent government figures within the English Housing Survey which revealed that home ownership continued to decline.  More than four million households in the UK now rent their home from a private landlord, nearly twice as many as 10 years ago.

Within England, homeownership fell to 62.9% last year, the lowest percentage since 1985 and eight points lower than the peak in 2003.

tenants“The average private renter loses around half of their pay cheque on rent at the beginning of each month, and for those living in London, it can be even higher,” says Dominic Baliszewski, Director of Consumer Strategy for Momentum UK (pictured).

“This not only limits their ability to save, but also means they have to cut back on expenses such as gym memberships, holidays and socialising just to get by.

“With home ownership in decline, the number of people facing these financial challenges and seeing their living standards fall is only going to grow. That’s why it’s so important that the government delivers on the pledges made in its housing white paper.”

March 22, 2017

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