One in 10 renters have struggled to pay rent since March

Almost one in 10 renters have struggled to pay their rent since March, according to research from Aldermore Bank.

The data also showed that 22% of renters are experiencing unexpected rent increases.

Almost half (41%) are worried about their financial security and 12% admit they have missed or were late with rent payments.

As a result, 14% of renters admitted to using their savings to get by and 16% have had to use their overdraft or credit card.

Those aged between 18 to 34 were impacted more than any other age group, with 64% admitting they are worried about their housing situation.

Additionally, a further 20% of this age group have seen rent costs increases in their area since March.

For this age, 31% have been placed on furlough or lost their employment since March, higher than the 22% average across all renters.

Furthermore, as a result of lockdown, 26% of renters are now looking to buy a property and are actively saving for a deposit.

The main things that renters desire that they do not currently have in their property were a bigger kitchen (32%), more living space (27%), a more energy efficient home (25%) and a garden (24%).

Looking to the future, 37% plan to remain in their property over the next five years and 18% intend to move to a different rental property.

Moreover, 22% state they will look to buy their own property in the next five years.

Those in Northern Ireland showed the greatest desire to a purchase a property within the next five years, at 32%.

Those in London followed at 29%, and the South East at 24%.

The research was collected from 2,000 private renters.

Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, said: “The impact of the pandemic has been as much financial as it has been on health in the UK.

“It is concerning that so many renters are feeling anxious about their housing situation, especially as the home has become an even more significant and important part of people’s lives this year than ever before.

“Encouragingly, landlords appear to have been supportive throughout this difficult time, with 74% of renters saying their experience has been positive, and nearly nine in ten renters saying communication with their landlord has been good.

“Open dialogue and listening to tenants’ concerns or difficulties is an important part of being a landlord and, if they are financially struggling lenders can provide options, such as mortgage payment breaks, to assist in managing portfolios and ease this strain during these difficult times.”

Kevin Roberts, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “These latest findings clearly show the financial difficulties many private renters face since the start of the pandemic.

“However, homeownership remains a life goal for many in rented accommodation.

“Those wanting to better understand how they can make the transition from renter to buyer should first consider speaking with an independent mortgage adviser.

“Advisers can help provide a clearer route to homeownership including what lenders look for in applicants, such as their minimum deposit requirements.

“Knowing how to prepare can help make the homeownership process clearer.”

Written by: Houseladder