The number of households in England that are privately rented increased from 2.4 million in 2005 to 3.8 million in 2011-12, a 58% increase, with 52% of adults in the UK aged under 35 live in a home they don’t own.
New research from protection specialist LV= shows that this trend is likely to continue as the younger generation’s attitude to renting is changing. 42% of renters aged between 20 and 35 are completely happy to rent for 10 years or more and claim that it’s not important to them whether they ever end up owning their own place.
The research figures indicate that a seismic shift in attitudes to renting is taking place. Whereas nearly all of the previous generation of Brits polled (those now aged between 55 and 75) saw owning their own property as the ‘ultimate goal’ (93%), only 33% of people under 35 now feel the same way.
In line with this, 43% of all renters no longer see bricks and mortar as a sign of success, and 70% say the notion that it’s in some way shameful to never own a property is completely out of date.
LV= says this comes with a number of hidden perils including little leeway for renters should they not be able to pay for their accommodation and a lack of renters taking out income protection insurance. The average renter paying out 39% of their income on rent alone. That’s around £947 per month, and rises to £1,152 in the South East where rents are highest and consume nearly half (44%) of a person’s monthly income.
Mark Jones, LV= head of protection, said: “It’s important to realise that renting does come with certain pitfalls that often aren’t signposted. When buying a property you are encouraged to take out an insurance policy to guarantee repayments in the event that something happens to the mortgage payer, no such prompt exists in the rental market.
“We know that one third of Brits currently rent and that 65% of these people have no insurance in place. This would leave a huge number of people in the UK in a vulnerable position if they found themselves unable to cover their rent and living expenses.
“Regardless of whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, it is important to have a financial back up plan in place which would enable you to carry on living in your home if you were unable to work. This is particularly important if any loss of income might affect your partner or family’s ability to pay the rent.”