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Large national survey from The DPS reveals renters struggling to pay amid widespread rent increases

Half of respondents who moved during the past year say they are paying between £51 and £200 more in rent each month

Just under a quarter (23%) of the more than 2,000 respondents to a survey of tenants in England and Wales have said that they are struggling to pay their rent, the Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) has revealed.

The UK’s largest protector of deposits said more than half (51%) had said they are worried about not managing their payments in the future, with 33% reporting rent increases during the past 12 months and 27% saying they are paying a quarter more each month than the previous year.

Amongst tenants moving to a new property, 62% said they are paying a higher rent than they expected and 64% said they have made financial sacrifices to meet new rental payments.

The DPS also said that 30% of respondents who had moved property during the last 12 months said they have had to take on extra work or additional jobs to meet rent payments, with 45% of non-movers also saying they have experienced rent increases during the past year.

Matt Trevett, Managing Director at The DPS said: “These results suggest that rent rises are taking place across the country and are clearly affecting moving and non-moving tenants alike.

“As a result some tenants are making significant lifestyle and financial adjustments to continue renting or secure their next property.

“A significant proportion are telling us that they are reaching the limits of what they can afford as a result of the combination of higher-than expected rents, food and energy costs and are expressing concerns about the future should their rent rise further.”

Almost half (49.91%) of moving tenants said they were paying between £51 to £200 more a month than expected, with just under a fifth (18.6%) paying an additional £201-£300, while 6.98% were paying £301-400 more.

7.33% said they paid over £501 a month more, with just 3.04% incurring a rent rise of £50 a month or less.

Of the 47% of tenants who moved last year, 28% gave various reasons for the move; 30% cited the sale of rental property, while 16% reported changed circumstances.

Just under 10% (9%) said they were moving after receiving notice to leave the property.

Most (41%) movers said they had found it difficult to secure a new rental; the main causes included affordability (26%), a shortage of suitable properties (21%) and current high demand (18%).

27% said they had rented a property unsuitable for their household’s needs.

26% of respondents who had moved during the past 12 months said their commute had got longer as a result of their move, while 11% said they had had to send their children to a different school.

Of the 53% of tenants who remained in their properties during the past 12 months more than a quarter (27%) had wanted to leave but didn’t due to:

  • High rents (53%)
  • Not finding a suitable property in the area they wanted to move to (21%)

Cutting costs across the board
Of tenants who said they were currently experiencing difficulties or expecting to soon:

  • 29% were budgeting carefully and/or spending less
  • 25% were taking on a second job or more work, while
  • 30% of all renters said they would consider moving to another UK region to rent a cheaper property
  • 30% also said they would downsize to secure a cheaper rental

Most tenants (66%) viewed between 1 to 10 properties to find a new rental, added the organisation.

Published: 30 March 2023