The English Housing Survey 2019/20, conducted by the UK Government, reports that 85% of private renters are happy with their landlords.
This figure has remained constant over the past 10 years, will it continue to do so? We take a detailed look into the report and highlight the areas of key importance to tenants and therefore, to landlords.
Run continually for the last 53 years, by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the survey collects information about people’s housing circumstances and the housing stock in England.
The survey data is collected from a randomly selected sample of addresses, and a further sub-selection of households are offered a physical inspection.
Accounting for 19% of total households, the 4.4 million households that make up the PRS are of course a focus in this report.
Data is presented alongside that referring to the social rented sector (17%) and the owner-occupied sector (65%).
Alongside information on income, ethnicity and overcrowding, one section of the report focuses on satisfaction.
In the PRS, 83% of tenants were satisfied overall with their accommodation. This varied by region ranging from 80% in the North West, to 86% in the North East.
When it comes to repairs and maintenance, 75% of private renters were satisfied with the way their landlords carry out repairs and maintenance, the highest figure for around a decade.
Of those who were dissatisfied, 20% cited that speed was the issue, with landlords slow to complete repairs and maintenance.
Another aspect that the report focuses on is the length of tenure in accommodation, for the different sectors.
The average time a private sector tenant had lived in their current property was 4.3 years. This is understandably shorter than those in the social sector and results for owner-occupiers, at 12.2 and 17.4 years respectively.
The report explains this apparent short tenure:
“Although time in current accommodation was relatively short, time in tenure appeared longer indicating that private renters were moving home within the private rented sector. Most private renters had rented from private landlords for a continuous period of three years or more: 18% had been private renters for three to four years, 24% for five to nine years and 30% for ten years or more.”
Following this, the report then returns to the idea of satisfaction, now with the service at the end of tenancies.
65% were satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided by the landlord or agent at the end of the tenancy. As is to be expected, the data showed that those who had been asked to leave by the landlord were more likely to be dissatisfied or very dissatisfied (36%), than those who moved because they wanted to (20%).
Service of landlords and agents
Further in the report, there is a brief discussion around the service provided by landlords and agents, which also reflected positively on the PRS.
“Private renters were asked how satisfied they were with the services provided by the landlord or, if they rented through a letting agency, letting agent from first contact to the day they moved into the property. Overall, private renters were satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided by their landlord or letting agent (85%)”
Overall it paints a positive picture of the PRS from tenant perspectives. Commenting on the findings of the report, National Residential Landlords Association chief executive Ben Beadle says:
“The NRLA is mindful of the challenges the private rented sector is confronted with and remains firmly committed to tackling them in a spirit of co-operation between tenants, landlords and government.
“However, these figures demonstrate that the vast majority of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation and the service being provided by their landlord. This positive feedback is representative of tenants’ experiences across the private rented sector, and it is through this lens that future changes need to be seen.”