Average earners in the UK risk being priced out of the rental market.
A poll of 1,000 landlords by the tenant referencing and insurance provider Landlord Secure has found one in five landlords would expect any applicant to be earning at least £30,000 a year before they would consider their application.
However, this is above the average UK salary of £27,600.
Almost one in ten admitted that they would be unlikely to progress an application from anyone earning below £50,000, with some of those saying applicants should be earning £100,000 to be in with a chance of success.
Steve Burrows, managing director of Landlord Secure, suggested a lack of understanding of credit ratings could be one reason for these high wage expectations, with 47% of landlords mistakenly believing that those on higher pay packets will automatically have better credit scores and a better financial footprint.
The survey also found landlords would expect an applicant to have been in a stable financial position, with most (28%) expecting any new tenant to have been in a “strong” position financially for at least six months prior to their application.
Another 21% would expect any applicant to have had sound finances for at least a year before signing a rental agreement with them.
Much more stringent are the 14% of those surveyed who said they wouldn’t expect an applicant to have ever gone through tough financial times and would consider not signing an agreement with them unless they could show an impeccable financial history.
Burrows said: “Most landlords do not currently have access to an applicant’s financial history, but this is clearly an important issue for them.
“Landlords should challenge their letting agents to ensure they are conducting thorough credit references on tenants, including detecting arrears and non-payments.
“The market also needs to do more to provide the kind of products that allow landlords to get the full picture of their tenant’s financial status so they can make better decisions that work for them and ultimately the tenant.”