Tenants in Britain are getting older, new research suggests

The number of people renting a home aged 35 to 54 has risen by 15% in the last three years as they struggle to get a mortgage, according to new research.

Those who rent say that not being able to afford a deposit or not meeting mortgage criteria as the main reasons for not being able to get on the property ladder, in the survey of more than 2,000 tenants.

The report, commissioned by Intus Lettings, suggests that the struggle which those renting property face in getting onto the housing market ladder may be worsening, despite house price growth slowing.

The number of people aged 45 to 54 who revealed they are renting due to not being able to afford a house deposit has grown by a third since 2016 according to the data, while just under a fifth of renters over 55 believe they’ll ever be able to afford to buy a property. Reasons noted in the survey included general affordability and problems getting a mortgage due to age.

Younger renters were more optimistic about the chances of owning a property in the future, with 43% of tenants aged 18 to 24 saying they couldn’t afford a deposit. However, most of this age group said they were putting aside less than £50 per month towards one.

‘With the cost of rent rising faster than wages, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of people find themselves unable to save up for a deposit to buy a home well into their 40s, 50s and beyond,’ said Hope McKendrick, lettings manager at Intus Lettings.

‘The survey results revealing that a large proportion of older renters don’t believe they’ll ever be able to buy a home is a particularly worrying trend, as only around one in five middle aged tenants feel renting actually suits their lifestyle,’ he pointed out.

For every age group surveyed, affordability was named by far the most important factor when looking for a property to rent, with nearly half of over 45s citing the costs of renting as their biggest concern. More than half of all age groups surveyed also said they’ve been worried about not being able to pay their rent due to financial difficulties on at least one occasion.

‘Stability can be one of the biggest concerns for those renting a home, from keeping up with rising rents to not knowing if you’ll be in the same home this time next year. Especially as nearly half of renters aged between 35 and 54 live with their children, the pressures can mean added stress for parents and families,’ added McKendrick.