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More tenants struggling to pay rent - government figures

More people are struggling to pay their rent according to a new government survey.

The study, by the Office for National Statistics, does not differentiate directly between tenants and owner occupiers but among those currently paying rent or a mortgage, 45 per cent reported that their rent or mortgage payments had gone up in the past six months.

Among those who are currently paying rent or a mortgage, 42 per cent reported finding it very or somewhat difficult affording these payments; this was 35 per cent at this time last year.


Around half of adults reported that their cost of living had increased compared with a month ago, 46 per cent reported it had stayed the same and three per cent said it had decreased.

When asked about what people are doing because of the increases in the cost of living, around two-thirds said they were spending less on non-essentials, half of all adults were shopping around more, and 45 per cent were spending less on food shopping and essentials.

However in the same survey, when asked about the important issues facing the UK today, housing was not in the top three.

The most commonly reported issues continued to be the cost of living (89 per cent), the NHS (86 per cent) and the economy (73 per cent). Fourth was housing (64 per cent) with climate change and the environment on 63 per cent.

Meanwhile another survey - from the Hargreaves Lansdown business consultancy - suggests that higher rents are wearing down the financial resilience of tenants.

The HL survey claims the average renting household has just £180 left at the end of the month, while a household with a mortgage has £337.

They’re less likely to have enough emergency savings to cover three months’ of essential spending. Only 45 per cent cross the threshold, compared to 72 per cent of those with a mortgage.

They’re also less likely to have enough sick pay or income protection cover. Only 62 per cent do, compared to 91 per cent of those with a mortgage.

And only 34 per cent of them have enough life cover, marginally less than mortgagees at 35 per cent - and way behind those who own outright at 84 per cent.

They’re well behind on pension savings too. Only 18 per ware on track for a moderate retirement income, compared to 54 per ware of those with a mortgage.

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “Rent is such a massive drain on our finances that trying to build anything for the future while meeting monthly rental costs is like trying to run a bath with the plug out. It means the financial resilience of renters is being washed down the plughole.

“The relative cost of renting and paying a mortgage is shifting, so that on average it’s more expensive to buy a property with a mortgage than it is to rent the same property. However, renters earn much less on average – at a household average of £30,294 compared to a mortgaged household at £56,188. This means their rent swallows a bigger slice of their income.”


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    I've seen recent research by the RICS that confirms tenants living in energy wasteful houses and flats are struggling the most to make their monthly rent payments. EPC Grade D & E, and Grade F & G where the landlord has decided to self-exempt themselves from the MEES legislation, is the 'danger zone' for sustainable rent payments.
    No surprises there - every pound our tenants pay on imported gas and super-expensive to run day-time electric wall heaters is a pound they don't have left to pay rent.

    Billy the Fish

    & continued insanity when considering the number of droughts and heatwaves we've had in the UK alone over the last 2 years. When is everyone going to wake up to the climate emergency FFS


    I didn't know Saint Martin of EPC commented here too! What a load of bullshtt he spouts!


    Gibbo the troll - you really do spout some rubbish

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    @ Tricia, he is like Pavlov's dog. The merest whiff of EPC, ventilation, mould etc and he is off.


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