Tenants would overwhelmingly support appointing a Government minister whose sole responsibility is tenancy issues, according to the latest First Time Buyer Opinion Barometer from Your Move and Reeds Rains.
When asked if they thought there should be a minister with specific responsibility for tenants, 60.2% of respondents said ‘yes’, compared to only 14.9% who thought it was a bad idea.
The survey also reveals that renting is becoming a longer-term option for increasing numbers of people. When tenants were asked at what point in time they expect to become home-owners, only 11.2% now feel they will be able to get onto the ladder within the next year from April 2015, down from 13.4% in April 2014. Equally, 13.1% reply that they will probably never be able to own their own home, up from 11% twelve months ago.
Getting the necessary money together for a deposit is by far the biggest bar to tenants putting a foot on the property ladder, with 70.8% citing it as the reason behind them choosing to continue renting.
Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Tenants feel that their particular circumstance deserves special representation at the heart of government.
“The younger generation have been disproportionately disadvantaged by the recession, with many stuck in lower paid roles, unable to progress their careers at the same pace as the previous generation. At the same time, savings rates have been stuck in the doldrums, meaning any money they have been able to put aside hasn’t been working hard for them. Saving for a deposit has become much more arduous. Rising prices have also pushed up the amount many need to save in the first place, adding insult to injury. This means many tenants trapped in rented homes during the recovery are still playing catch-up.
“What will be interesting to monitor is whether such an initiative would cause a drastic change in the way we view renting in the UK. If the flexibility of renting, which most people see as a bonus, can be combined with the stability and reassurance that a minister for tenants could provide, it could create a golden formula that makes renting a better long-term, as well as short-term, option for many individuals and families.”
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