Many tenants in Britain are happy to rent for life, new poll suggests

More than one in three tenants in Britain say that they would happily rent long term rather than buy a home because they like the flexibility and are out off by high property prices, a new survey has found.

The poll by home interiors specialist Hillarys also found that the vast majority, one in 10, believe that landlords should not be able to evict tenants unless they have broken the law.

Respondents were asked how long they had been renting for, with 43% saying they had done so for six to 10 years, 28% for up to five years and 15% for 11 to 15 years and the average monthly rent paid by them was £650.

Just over half, some 52%, said that they were currently happy with renting, with the remaining 48% admitting they were not happy with their current situation. They were also asked if they would be happy renting for the rest of their life to which 35% said they would be.

The top reason for renting was being able to move easily with 39% citing this, followed by 27% saying that property prices are too high, while 14% said they like not having to worry about repairs, 9% do not want to live anywhere permanently and 6% said they think buying a house is too stressful.

When asked why they would not be happy renting forever some 34% said this was due to a lack of tenant rights, 31% said they are concerned about stories of people having bad experiences with landlords and 26% said the rising cost of renting a home.

The survey also found that 91% of respondents believe that landlords should not be able to evict tenants unless they break the law and 89% said they think landlords should be made to give at least six months’ notice prior to eviction.

Some 63% think that tenants should be given first right of refusal if their landlord decides to sell and 97% believe renting rights in the UK could be improved, with 19% saying they believed them to be one of the worst in the world.

‘We hear so much about how more people have to rent long term because they can’t get on the property ladder, but it’s interesting to see how many are actually happy with renting,’ said spokesperson Tara Hall.

‘Owning a property isn’t for everyone, especially if you like not being tied down or don’t want to spend months and months saving for huge deposits,’ she added.