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Posted on October 11th 2018 by admin-movingin

Tenants more likely to vote – is this why rental sector is under attack?

New research may explain why the government and Labour appear to be competing with each other to attack landlords and letting agents.

The study, by AXA Insurance, reveals that future elections are set to be influenced much more powerfully than in the past by tenant votes. 

While 53 per cent of private renters voted in 2017 – a noticeable jump on previous elections – that would rise to 69 per cent if an election was called today, the research claims.

It says “an epidemic of financial anxiety” amongst renters is behind this greater political engagement with 72 per cent claiming they are genuinely anxious – defined as having sleep, relationships or health affected. 

The research claims the single biggest trigger for their anxiety is the inability to save for a deposit for their own home; debts, bills and insecurity of tenure are also cited, although fall some way behind the deposit issue. 

Two thirds of tenants aged under 35 say they are considering cheaper alternatives to renting, chiefly moving back in with their parents. Caretaking an empty property, moving to a non-traditional property like a motor home, and sub-letting were other possible solutions.

Upon being asked about possible political measures to help tenants, rent controls indexed to inflation or average incomes were the single most popular proposal – backed by 69 per cent of those surveyed. 

By contrast, raising taxes for private landlords was favoured most by just eight per cent.

AXA found a muted response to the idea of three year standard tenancies: when asked the length of tenancy agreement they would prefer, most tenants (62 per cent) still opted for a period of one year or less.

In the coming year, half of private renters anticipate making a big life change that will affect their housing – having a baby, moving in with partners, divorcing, or relocating to a different part of the country.

One in 10 tenants surveyed expect to move to a different part of the UK by this time next year (a figure which triples among London renters), while a similar number expect to move overseas within three years.

Six in 10 renters say they have had to pay the types of fees to landlords and letting agents that the Tenants’ Fees Bill seeks to outlaw – generally speaking fees for starting, ending or renewing a tenancy agreement. 

A quarter of tenants say they have had to pay for having their credit or references checked. 

Less relevant may prove to be the proposal to ban landlords from demanding deposits in excess of six months’ rent – only a small minority of tenants (eight per cent) say they have ever had to pay such a large deposit.


Original Source: Letting Agent Today.

Original Author: Graham Norwood.