Five million Britons could be stuck in the 'rent trap' forever, claims Shelter

Proportion of renters unable to save for deposit leaps 13% in two years

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Two thirds of people living in private rented homes could be trapped into renting forever as they are unable to put any money aside for a house deposit, new research shows.

Polling of private renters in England for Shelter has found that 5m people – 66 per cent of renters - are stuck in the "rent trap". The situation for is getting worse, with the proportion of renters not saving anything towards a deposit jumping by 13 per cent in two years, the YouGov poll shows.

Of those who are planning to buy their own home, more than a third think it will take them over a decade to save enough for a deposit.

The situation is similar in Scotland and Wales, where soaring numbers of people in private rented accommodation could be priced out of ever owning a home.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “With the ‘rent trap’ taking hold of millions across the country, the prospect of a stable home is becoming a distant dream for far too many young people and families. Instead they’re facing a lifetime of moving from one unstable and expensive rental property to the next.

“Successive Governments’ failure to build enough affordable homes has left a generation burdened with sky-high rents and soaring house prices, with many struggling to make ends meet – let alone save for a deposit. Politicians must meet people half-way by taking real action to build the affordable homes this country desperately needs, and give ‘generation rent’ the chance to put down roots in a place they can call home. If they don’t, things are only going to get worse for future generations.”

Research earlier this year by Shelter Cymru showed more than half of those renting privately wanted to buy their own home but thought they would never be able to afford it. Housing is also causing worries.

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According to Census data, the number of tenants in the Welsh private rented sector has risen by 42 per cent in 10 years, to 184,254 people.

And one in five people in Scotland fear they won’t be able to afford to pay the rent or mortgage during the coming year, according to polling.

The research, based on a YouGov survey of over 4,000 British adults, suggests that hundreds of thousands of renters and homeowners in Scotland will at some time in 2014 be worried whether they’ll be able to keep a roof over their heads.

Emma Reynolds MP, Labour’s shadow Housing Minister, said: “For a whole generation of young people and families the prospect of a decent home at a price they can afford is slipping out of reach.

“To tackle this crisis we need to build many more affordable homes but under David Cameron housebuilding has fallen to the lowest levels in peacetime since the 1920s. The Tory-led Government has also failed to reform private renting leaving 9m renters with little hope of securing a stable home.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “This Government is fixing the broken housing market we inherited in 2010, and offering a range of support to hard-working families who are struggling to raise a deposit. Over 100,000 households have already achieved their dream of homeownership through a Government-backed scheme, from Help to Buy to shared ownership.”