The economic conditions in the UK are forcing more people to live in rented properties. Renting appears to be a more viable alternative to buying a property in the present circumstances. Besides the lack of amenities and features in a rented property, tenants experience several problems like arbitrary hikes in rent, delays in repairs, and the possibility of eviction. Tenants in the UK are looking forward to a long-term solution from Michael Gove, housing secretary in the new cabinet.
Common problems renters face in the UK
Stringent rules and high rents are only a few issues renters have to manage. These are a few common problems that average tenants may face.
· Difficulty in finding a suitable home- Finding the right place to live is challenging because the demand for rented homes exceeds the supply. It weakens the tenant's position, as landlords can readily get tenants without ensuring the quality of homes.
· Rising rents - Rents increase each year, causing a substantial rise over a period. Most landlords increase rents at a rate that exceeds the rate of inflation.
· Evictions - While it is mandatory to give sufficient notice for evictions, there are several cases of untimely evictions. Landlords may force tenants to vacate the property following a complaint regarding the need for repairs.
· Exorbitant deposits - Tenants must pay deposits to rent a property. Landlords can demand any amount, such as a year's rent, as a deposit. There is no guarantee of receiving the entire amount upon vacating the property. It is not uncommon for landlords to default on refunding deposits, citing flimsy reasons.
· Repairs - Often, landlords neglect to make repairs, even the most basic ones.
Cost of renting versus owning a house
Renting a home is more expensive than living in an owner-occupied property. A recent government report confirms that living in a rental home involves 32% higher costs than residing in an owner-occupied home. Buying a home by taking out a mortgage requires 50% less income than a tenant would need to pay rent. The rate of rent increase is much higher than the prices of properties. Mortgage interest rates have reached a record high in the last 14 years, raising the possibility of market saturation. It is hardly surprising that the government is not focusing on these problems as renters remain in the minority. Many tenants perceive a rented home as a makeshift arrangement before buying a home.
Renting- an ideal solution
Besides the existing issues, renting remains a prudent choice in the current environment. The sector has the potential to fulfill the expectations of people who wish to live in feature-rich homes. It is boosting the Build to Rent sector, which promises a broad spectrum of amenities and superior living standards for tenants. The Build to Rent sector has a bright future. Rents will stop rising if there are more purpose-built rental homes on the market. It depends on how developers navigate the complex planning system.
A new ray of hope for renters
Tenants are pinning their hopes on Michael Gove for a solution to their problems. His record of working on the Renter's Reform Bill qualifies him to bring relief to tenants. Gove believes tenants can hope to own homes if rents come down. Fair rents will help tenants save money to pay for home ownership. There is an urgent need for reforms to offer respite to renters. The government should try to reform the rental structure. Gove supports social housing and feels that increasing the number of homes for social rent will enable more people to buy homes in the future
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