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Tenants stay an average 4.1 years, says government's own figures

Private rental sector tenants in England stay an average of 4.1 years in their property - casting doubt over the justification put forward by the government for the introduction of longer tenancies.

The English Housing Survey shows that the average length of time a private sector tenant had lived in their current home was up from 3.9 years in 2016/17 to 4.1 years in 2017/18.

In addition, the proportion of income spent on private rents was 32.9 per cent in 2017-18, down from 34.3 per cent in the previous year, and from 36.4 percent in 2014/15.


Meanwhile a parallel publication, the government’s new Private Landlord Survey for 2018, reports that 70 per cent of landlords kept their rents the same when they most recently renewed a tenancy showing that landlords prioritise keeping good tenants for a long term.

Evidence of improved standards for tenants come from the English Housing Survey showing that the proportion of private rented homes with the most serious hazards in them has fallen considerably in the last decade. 

In 2017, 14 per cent of rented homes had a Category 1 hazard, down from 31 per cent in 2008.

A statement from the Residential Landlords Association says the organisation will continue to do all it can to ensure no rented property contains a serious hazard - but it insists the picture right now shows considerable long-term improvement. 

John Stewart, policy manager for the Residential Landlords Association, says: “What emerges from the wealth of data … is a picture of continuing improvement in affordability, security and standards for private tenants.  

“The figures also debunk the myth that landlords are always increasing rents unreasonably and looking for every opportunity to evict a tenant.

“We recognise that whilst this data confirms that the vast majority of landlords enjoy good relationships with their tenants and want them to stay on long term, there are still too many unscrupulous landlords who bring the sector into disrepute and they should be driven out of the market.”


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