With more than a quarter of those in their late thirties and early forties now renting, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is calling on the government to ensure the support is in place for landlords to meet the changes in the types of tenants in rented housing.
The research, based on figures from the annual Family Resources Survey, found that the number of middle-aged Britons still renting their homes from private landlords has doubled in the past decade, owed in part to rising house price, leaving many middle-age workers unable to afford a first home.
“With government data showing that rents are increasing by less than inflation and that average weekly rents are lower than weekly mortgage payments, it is not surprising that more older people who are finding it difficult to afford to buy a property are now renting,” said David Smith, policy director for the RLA.
The landlord association wants to see the government help the situation by doing more to enable landlords to offer longer tenancies.
Smith continued: “We recognise that older tenants, especially those with children, want security in rented housing. Although official statistics show that tenants have, on average, lived in their existing rented homes for almost four years, we have called on the government to do more to support the provision of longer tenancies.
“This includes addressing the problem that mortgage lenders often prevent landlords offering longer tenancies with an RLA survey showing that 44% of landlords have mortgage conditions that limit the maximum length of tenancy that can be offered.”
Smith points out that growth in the number of older tenants is one factor behind an increase in demand for rented housing at a time when an increasing number of landlords are not investing in more properties or are selling off homes because of government tax rises on the sector.
“This is making it more difficult in areas of high demand for tenants to find decent accommodation,” he added.
“The government is increasingly asking the private rented sector to house people in categories that it was never intended or structured to do. Ministers need to undertake a comprehensive review to ensure the support is in place for landlords to meet the changes in the types of tenants in rented housing.”