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Graham Awards


Deposits - women must pay higher proportion of salary than men

Unusual research undertaken by an alternative deposit scheme suggests that women pay a substantially higher proportion of their salary than men, even to simply put a deposit on a rental property.

Research by Hamilton Fraser’s Ome shows that with a current annual net wage of £29,068, the average male tenant is paying 4.5 per cent of their yearly income to secure a rental property.

But because women earn less on average, the typical female tenant is paying 6.6 per cent.


Following this on, Ome says it would take the average male 2.7 months to save the current typical rental deposit of £1,299, while the average female would need to save for a further 1.3 months to accumulate the same total.

Looking at average salaries for different professions, the scheme suggests that raising the deposit is particularly tough for hairdressers who - it says - has an annual net wage of only £12,071. This means the average deposit accounts for a huge 10.8 per cent of their annual income and would require over six months of saving for them to accumulate the right sum.

A cleaner can expect to fork out 9.1 per cent of the annual £14,305 earnings for the average rental deposit, taking them 5.4 months to save; meanwhile a secretary will need to save 8.4 per cent of their salary and save for 5.1 months.

Estate agents’ average salary comes in at £19,568 by the way.

To make its calculations, Ome used the ‘50/30/20 rule’ whereby a person is expected to budget 50 per cent of income towards necessities like bills, 30 per cent towards wants such as social activities and 20 per cent savings. 

With a current annual net wage of £29,068, the average male tenant is paying 4.5 per cent of their yearly income to secure a rental property, while the average female tenant is paying 6.6 per cent.

“For the vast majority of people and professions, the initial barrier of a rental deposit is more of a cash flow problem than an affordability issue” explains Matthew Hooker, co-founder of Ome.


“While it can account for as much as 10 per cent of some people’s annual wage, the struggle they face isn’t necessarily having the finances to do pay it, just that it’s not immediately accumulated and readily available and can take as long as six months to save” he co tinues.

”As a result, many of us have to turn to friends or family to help overcome this initial obstacle and many great tenants that don’t have this option can miss out on the chance to rent altogether. Thankfully, we’re starting to see a change in the sector whereby more products and options are available to suit help vast and varied range of tenants reliant on it to put a roof over their heads.”  

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    The problem is most likely children. I have had cases of children being allowed to use walls as, "art walls". Some art materials need at least two coats of paint to cover the scrawling. There is also a limit to how often you can repaint walls. It goes without saying that parents that allow this are most likely bad tenants in general and prone to letting the property become filthy.

    Overall it is simple enough to run your letting software and see if male or female tenants cause more damage and are more profitable. It is not guess work, sexism or hand of god, just good business sense.

    Generalisations of course but you need a fire to get smoke.


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