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Young renters forced to pay “unaffordable” level of rent

Two-thirds of Britain is effectively off-limits to many young people who want to rent a property of their own, a new report claims.

The research by the BBC shows that young renters are feeling the financial strain, with average rents for a one-bedroom flat eating up more than 30% of their typical salary in 65% of British postcode areas.

Various housing organisations regard spending more than a third of income on rent as unaffordable.


The study suggests that affordability is most stretched in London where a salary of £51,200 is needed to “afford” to rent a one-bedroom flat.

Analysis by the BBC’s data team shows that a gross annual income of £24,800 would be needed for the average one-bedroom rental flat in England to become affordable under the 30% measure. In Scotland £20,700 is needed and in Wales the amount is £17,600. 

Responding to the analysis by the BBC on the cost of renting for young people, RLA policy director, David Smith, said: “With a majority of under 35s living in rented housing, it is young people now facing the consequences of the supply crisis facing the private rental market.”

The government’s own data shows that across England there was a loss of 46,000 private rented homes in England in 2016/17 as a result of tax increases on the sector, which is placing upward pressure on rental values.

Smith added: “The demand for homes to rent is not expected to slow, whilst figures from the RLA’s research arm, PEARL, warn of a net loss of 133,000 homes for rent over the next year.

“Given the scale of the housing crisis ministers need to support the development of new homes to rent alongside all other tenures.” 

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Poll: Do you think that many millennials need to prepare for a lifetime of renting?


  • phil dillon

    More smoke and mirrors, what has the RLA ever achieved in getting Govt to change its mind about these suicidal policies?

  • icon

    rla seems to have no idea

  • icon

    as the government continues to put the knife into landlords so will rents continue to increase to cover the extra costs, not rocket science is it?


    for politicians it is rocket science

  • David Porter

    If rents are 'unaffordable' then tenants wouldn't be able to afford to pay them, by definition. If rents are going up it's because supply is going down AND tenants can still afford to pay them. They might just have to cut back their spending a bit at Starbucks, McDonalds, itunes, and all the other things they waste their money on that I see on their bank statements.

  • icon

    I agree. Many tenants also have new cars on pcp leases and several fancy holidays each year, both things I can't do because I'm more responsible with my money and budget to meet my obligations.


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