Housing data reveals renter confusion over deposit protection

A fifth of renters are unsure if their tenancy deposit has been protected by their landlord or lettings agent.

The Government’s latest English Housing Survey for 2017 to 2018 revealed the experience and attitude of tenants towards renting.

It found that three-quarters of private renters paid a deposit at the start of their current tenancy, with 73% reporting it was protected but 20% were unsure if this was the case.

The research also revealed the level and type of fees being charged to tenants ahead of the now-implemented ban.

It found most tenants were charged a fee of between £100 to £300 by their agent.

Almost half (44%) of a sample of 2,329 renters said they were charged fees for their current tenancy.

The most common were non-returnable administration fees for references (60%), for contracts and inventories (43%), finders fees (29%), holding fees (non-returnable 12%, returnable 7%) and ‘right to rent’ checks (9%).

The analysis found the majority (84%) of private renters were satisfied with their accommodation, albeit lower than the 95% satisfaction rate for home owners.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) claims the document also dispels the myth that renting is insecure, citing findings that showed of those who had lived in their current home for less than three years, 72% moved house because they wanted to, rather than a landlord evicting them.

The main reasons for moving in the past three years were job related (18% of moves), to move to a better neighbourhood (16%) and to move to a larger home (13%).

Of those who did not move solely by choice, reasons included being asked to move by a landlord (12%), moving on by mutual agreement with a landlord (10%), and moving due to the end of a fixed term tenancy (8%).

The survey also assessed home ownership and the level of under-occupation, which was defined as having two or more spare bedrooms.

It found that of the 14.8m households owning a property, 7.9m are under-occupied.

Two-thirds of households living in under-occupied homes were over-65, raising questions of whether they need more support to downsize and free up stock.

Chris Sykes, mortgage consultant at broker Private Finance, said: “The cost of Stamp Duty is discouraging these empty nesters from downsizing, leaving them in homes too large for their future needs, but too costly to give up.

“As a result of this inactivity at the top end of the ladder, housing stock is limited and the UK property market is somewhat paralysed.

“To free up housing stock and re-energise the property market, we’re calling on the UK Government to introduce a Stamp Duty exemption for last-time buyers.

“Minimising the tax liabilities for older generations could encourage and enable them to finally downsize, freeing up housing stock and thereby helping to fix the supply issue that has hindered the market for so long.”




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One Comment

  1. Will2

    It makes you ask why so much funding is wasted with these daft reports coming out almost daily.


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