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A quarter of tenants spend over half of salaries on rent

Over a quarter (27.3%) are now spending at least half of their take-home salary on rent, research from tenant and landlord services provider Canopy has revealed.

UK tenants are spending 38% of their take-home salary on rent, well beyond the recommended level of affordability.

Chris Hutchinson, chief executive at Canopy, said: “It is sobering to see that more than a quarter of UK tenants are spending the vast majority of their take-home salary on rental payments, and it neatly encapsulates the tricky situation that many tenants with aspirations of home ownership are in.

“According to our latest data, renters are spending 38% of their take-home income on rent vs 18% for homeowners paying mortgages. That highlights the financial pressure on renters, meaning less money is able to be saved to achieve their goals.

“Despite the price stability that further regulation would have on the market, there would likely be additional disincentives for landlords, leading to more leaving the market, and therefore reducing rental housing supply, or those remaining being less inclined to adequately maintain their properties. Where we could see positive change is towards longer tenancies for those who desire them, fostering greater security for families and communities.”

The UK city with the highest rent to income ratio is Bournemouth, with the average tenant spending 46.7% of their salary on rent.

Tenants in Brighton (46.5%) and Oxford (44.9%) also spend a large portion of their salary on rent, with Stirling in Scotland (43.6%) a surprise inclusion in the top five.

Overall, Belfast is the most affordable major city for renters in the UK, with the average tenant spending just under a third of their take-home salary in rental payments (29.1%).

Despite a reputation of being unaffordable, a high average income means that London (39.9%) has a rental cost ratio that is only just above the UK average (38%).

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