Campaigns Housing Supply and Rents

Costs down, tenancy length up in the private rented sector

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

The proportion of income spent by private tenants on rents has fallen over the past year, according to new official figures.

Updated figures in the English Housing Survey, show that tenants are spending less of their income on housing, with this figure standing at 33%, down from 34% the previous year.

The updated English Housing Survey report also reveals that the majority of private tenants (84%) are satisfied with the house they rent.

This figure is higher than tenants in the social sector, where 80% are satisfied with the house the rent.

Tenants staying longer

The survey also found that the average length of time a private sector tenant had lived in their current home was 4.1 years for private renters.

It also reveals that most private rented sector tenancies ended because the tenant wanted to move-with just 12% of private tenancies  ended by the landlord.

Responding to the English Housing Survey report on the private rented sector 2017/18, RLA policy director David Smith said:

“Today’s English Housing Survey dispels the myth that private renting means insecure tenancies and ever increasing costs. It shows that renters are spending less of their income on housing, at 33%, down from 34% the previous year and 36% in 2014/15, and are staying in their homes for over four years on average.

“As Ministers look at ending so called ‘no fault’ evictions the survey finds that the large majority of those who moved out of their home did so because they wanted to, either for work, a larger home or to move to a different area (72%) or because their tenancy had come to an end (8%). A further 10% moved on mutual agreement with their landlord.

“The majority (84%) of private renters also reported being satisfied with their current accommodation, higher than in the social rented sector.”

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.


  • Plenty of positively about the PRS in that report. Will need to be totally re-interpreted by Polly Neate, Campbell Robb and that clown from Generation Rent.

  • I don’t believe the findings. I’ve been renting privately 13 years and it’s been terribly stressful and rent is 50% of income without utility bills. In London prices increasing all the time.

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