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Tenants split on whether renting offers value for money

Half (49%) of tenants don’t think renting offers value for money, saying that it leaves them unable to save and is more expensive than a mortgage, research from mydeposits in partnership with Ome has found.

The other half (51%) think it is value for money owing to its flexibility and being absolved from maintenance costs – a view shared by three quarters of landlords and agents

Suzy Hershman, head of dispute resolution at mydeposits, said: “From a tenant’s perspective, the cost of renting is a key factor for those with a negative outlook of the sector. It could be suggested that the high costs and affordability issues felt by tenants manifest as rent arrears for agents and landlords making the problem cyclical. However, renting is also providing a solution to those who cannot afford to buy whilst offering flexibility.”

Homeownership is a long-term aspiration for two thirds (67%) of tenants, with 51% identifying affordability as the main reason they rent.

Despite reports of large-scale rent arrears, 95% of tenants said they are not in arrears due to COVID-19.

Of those who have struggled, 58% said their landlord had been accommodating, with 31% offering reduced rent or a rent holiday.

Conversely, 31% of landlords and agents said their tenants were in arrears due to the pandemic.

More than half (51%) of tenants have only rented their current property or one other over the last five years, demonstrating tenants’ desire to remain longer in rental properties.

Matthew Hooker, co-founder of Ome, said: “The results of the survey have highlighted the strengths of market and reinforces that the vast majority of tenant-landlord relationships remain positive.

“From a deposit perspective it is encouraging that so many people are open new models and we look forward to building upon our early growth, as well as building upon our innovative work with new and exciting offerings over the next few years.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and the government gets back on track with making further changes to the landscape of the private rented sector, our sentiment surveys will provide valuable insight into the views of landlords, tenants and agents and what changes could have a positive impact on reducing the challenges faced by all parties.”