Most tenants are happy with their private rental properties. One in three has no intention of ever buying their own property. A report by English Housing Survey shows 84% of tenants in the private rental sector are satisfied with their housing. In the social rented sector, the figure is 81%. Private landlords can take the praise for these happy tenants, as the report also shows that 72% of private-sector tenants are happy with the way that repairs or maintenance work is carried out. This compares very favourable to the social renters, with only 66% satisfied with the work.

Residential Landlords Association policy director, David Smith, says these findings confound the ‘false news’ being shared about the private rental sector. It shows that most landlords are looking after their tenants and properties properly. Unfortunately, it is the handful of rogue landlords who are perpetuating the myth about rental accommodation. Mr Smith suggested the government should recognise the good work being carried out by buy-to-let investors. He called on the government to back landlords who are providing quality rental properties and to ensure that policies are in place to back them. At the same time, he said enforcement needs to be improved to weed out criminal and rogue landlords who have no place in the sector. The government has been squeezing landlords with mortgage tax relief cuts and stamp duty on second and subsequent properties. It believes that these moves will create an even playing field between buy-to-let investors and first-time buyers, as regards tax breaks. The government still has the impression that many people would like to be home owners rather than renters. However, many prefer the freedom and flexibility that they get from renting.

A survey shows one in three tenants has no intention of buying their own property. The study of 1,000 tenants showed 33% are happy to rent long term. The study by sofa specialist company, Sofology, said 31% did not think it was important to get on to the property ladder and 26% did not want the responsibility of home ownership. For 7%, spending their money on travel and life experiences were bigger priorities than buying a home. Most tenants are also content with their current living quarters, with 83% saying they are settled in their present property. Renting also makes 61% of them happy. The cities where tenants are the happiest in terms of being content to rent, compared to getting on the property ladder are Chelmsford, Coventry, Cardiff, Manchester and Liverpool.

Sofology CMO, Andy Leadbetter, said the company had wanted to explore how tenants are turning their rental properties into homes for the long haul. He said he was surprised how many renters said they are happy with their current living arrangements and do not plan to step on to the property ladder. He said this mindset shows a clear shift in thinking among different generations. He pointed out that you don’t have to own a particular property in order to make it feel like it is your home.

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