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​Tenants set to pay as much as homeowners

Wednesday 20 June 2018

The amount being paid by private renters in England is approaching parity with mortgage payments, new figures have revealed.

Ten years ago, the amount of rent being paid was only 30 per cent of the total handed over by homeowners, but now the figure is more than 75 per cent, according to new analysis by housing charity Shelter .

The total amount spent on private rent jumped more than 160 per cent in less than a decade, from £15.9bn in 2006 to £41.3bn in 2015-16, according to the report that used the most up-to-date figures possible.

Meanwhile, the total spent by home owners almost flatlined – rising just 5 per cent, from £52.1bn to £54.9bn. The figures were not adjusted for inflation.

Greg Beales, director of campaigns at Shelter, said: “This government should step in and give families protection from this ‘rentquake’ by building far more homes that are genuinely affordable to rent.” 

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said the government had delivered more than 357,000 new affordable properties since 2010.

“We are determined to do more, and are investing a further £9billion in affordable homes, including £2billion to help councils and housing associations build properties for social rent,” said the spokesperson.

“We are also committed to giving councils the power to borrow £1billion to build new properties in the areas were there are the greatest affordability pressures.

“To help make renting fairer and more transparent, we are banning letting fees and cracking down on rogue landlords.”

They added that the government will consult on options to support landlords to offer longer tenancies to those who want them, giving tenants more security of tenure in their homes.

But it’s some of the very measures put in place to ‘help’ tenants that could end up back-firing. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA ), for instance, have warned it’s actually tenants most likely to suffer as a result of the tenant fee ban – and tax changes like SecitonSection 24 - as landlords are increasingly more likely to put rents up and less likely to rent out to vulnerable tenants. 

Richard Truman, Head of Operations at Simple Landlords Insurance, added; “Private landlords have a role to play in tackling the housing crisis in this country - and we need to make sure that any new legislation or regulation works for both good landlords and good tenants.”

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