Guide to renting
Considering the nation's obsession with news about interest rates, the housing market and property prices, it is easy to see why tenants
and the world of renting property are often forgotten. Although fewer
than 1 in 10 homes are privately rented, this figure does not include
the millions of council tenants, students and residents of homes that
are rented out through professional lettings agents.
With property prices so high these days, it is not surprising that
many people still find themselves unable to buy, or else choose not
to take that first step on the housing ladder. For others, it is a
logical choice given their way of life. We have identified 6 main
groups that will often be found renting property.
One of the largest groups of tenants has traditionally been - and
still is - those who rent their home from the local council. For many
people, housing benefit is an essential part of life - they simply
would not be able to afford to meet the cost of privately rented accommodation.
The unemployed and those working in low paid jobs form the bulk of
those people who rent from either the government or a housing association,
as well as the small minority who are looking to play the system.
This is a large and quickly growing group who are now responsible
for the lion's share of the demand amongst private landlords and professionally
let properties. The three principle drivers for professional sharers
renting rather than buying would see to be:
Many fresh graduates and young professionals are willing to relocate
in order to follow their work or to find new work. Around 250,000
move to London each year to try to get a boost up the employment ladder.
If you don't know what or where your next career step will be, renting
can often be the sensible option.
Quite frankly many sharers enjoy the company and social aspects of
sharing a house. They might not yet be ready to strike out on their
own and get their own place, for fear of too many nights in alone.
Many young professionals are city dwellers. Attracted by the busy
lifestyle and close proximity of amenities, a shared house or flat
in the city can be the perfect answer for their lifestyle needs.
Last, but not least, for many young sharers, there are not always
many other options. A lot of people now find themselves priced out
of the market in the early parts of their careers and simply can't
afford to buy. Others share whilst they save, since renting with other
people is usually cheaper than renting on your own.
Although it is becoming increasingly popular for parents to enter
the buy-to-let market by buying a house for their university-bound
child to live in, the vast majority of students live in accommodation
that is rented privately or from the university. This includes the
large number of foreign students that come to live in the UK each
year and medical and dental students that live in special accommodation.
The corporate rental market is booming, as landlords are waking up
to the fact that a whopping premium can sometimes be gained from leasing
your property on a short term let. Major blue chip companies are always
looking to house people in temporary accommodation for the duration
of a contract or project. These are people who will rent at the higher
end of the market, often coming to work in the UK from abroad or relocating
from elsewhere in the country.
There are three main groups within this category:
Most young couples will usually try living together before they buy
a place of their own. It can make sense since buying with your partner
is such a big step. Often, if a couple are serious about buying a
place together, they will live in rented accommodation while they
Divorcees and recently separated homeowner couples will often - probably
quite sensibly - resist the temptation to immediately buy a replacement
home. Choosing to rent instead is probably quite sensible, as the
time after a major break up is definitely a period of change.
'Living apart together' is something of a new phenomenon amongst modern
couples, that can apply to both rented and owned property. Essentially,
each individual of the couple will have their own home, which may
or may not be shared with other people. The couple will split their
time between their two places. This allows for a greater level of
financial independence from each other and is a choice currently favoured
by around 16% of the population.
Like it or not, the criminal fraternity is a recognisable social group
that is not averse to renting property, especially in inner city areas.
As our lettings insider tells us, dodgy dealers, pimps, prostitutes
and all kinds of creatures of the night can be found renting the properties
of unsuspecting landlords.
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