Landlords shun younger tenants

Young family moving home

The results of a new survey indicate that more and more landlords are turning their backs on younger tenants to reduce the risk of non-payment of rent.

The research, from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), undertaken by Sheffield Hallam University, indicates that nearly a third of landlords are looking to change their approach to letting, focussing on older tenants, over the age of 25, who they perceive to be less of a risk when it comes to paying rent.

No less than 79% of landlords surveyed perceive tenants under the age of 35 to pose a higher risk of rent default, and that this was the main reason for their change in strategy, while two thirds of landlords are not prepared to rent to under 35s who are claiming benefits like housing benefit or universal credit. 44% of landlords surveyed, said they would not rent their properties out to students.

Landlords raised a number of issues that would need to be resolved in order to encourage them to rent properties to younger would-be tenants.

Top of the agenda was the introduction of a new initiative in which local authorities or charities would provide loans to tenants to cover the cost of the deposit. Additionally, landlords wanted to see an about-turn on recent tax changes; the provision of tax relief on longer tenancies and better administration; and payment of welfare for rent to be made direct to the landlord.

Alan Ward of the RLA commented:

This research suggests that landlords are moving away from accommodating under-35s, especially those who are on benefit, out of concern that they will not get paid. The report notes that landlords are not necessarily looking for higher rents or increased yields from their properties. Instead, the emphasis is on reducing risk, particularly in relation to rent arrears and the administration of welfare payments."

"We have already held constructive talks with the Government about this and we will keep the situation under review, but there is a need for policymakers to engage further with landlords to consider what more action can be taken to address this decline. Without this many under 35s are likely to struggle to access any accommodation.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.