Half of renters worried they will not be able to afford rent in 2023

As rent rises for the majority of UK renters, half are worried they will not be able to afford it in 2023, new research from Market Financial Solutions(MFS) has revealed.

The specialist lender commissioned an independent survey among a nationally-representative sample of 2,000 UK adults – 702 respondents were tenants and 211 were landlords. It found that 58% of tenants have seen their rent increased in 2022, with one in two (49%) worried they will not be able to afford rent in 2023.

Almost half (48%) of landlords said they have had to increase rental prices due to rising interest rates, resulting in higher mortgage repayments.

But most (56%) landlords would allow flexibility on rental payments if a tenant was struggling financially amid the cost-of-living crisis. Over a third (35%) have opted to freeze rents in 2022 due to well-documented pressures on people’s finances.

Among tenants, the overwhelming majority (77%) say that more needs to be done to control rental prices in the UK.

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said: “It’s been a frenetic, challenging year, in which the base rate has risen by 2.9% and inflation has hit 10.1%.

“Our new research shows that this economic turbulence has forced landlords to hike rents, and millions of people are worried if they will be able to afford rent next year. These are stark findings. However, our research also shows that the majority of landlords are sympathetic about the cost-of-living crisis; many have chosen to freeze rents, while most are willing to be flexible when it comes to payments.

“It seems clear that honest, frank conversations are needed to ensure renters are not subsumed by rising prices and landlords can afford to repay debt. Inflation and interest rates hurt different people in different ways – and while 2023 offers hope that both pressures will ease, we must ensure there is support for those who are struggling financially in the current climate.”