Campaigners warn of 'rentquake' as analysis reveals amount spent by private renters is approaching parity with mortgage payments

Amount of rent being paid 10 years ago was only 30 per cent of the total handed over by homeowners – now the figure is more than 75 per cent

Harriet Agerholm
Monday 18 June 2018 12:15
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Rentquake: private rent spending approaching parity with mortgage payments

Campaigners have warned of a “rentquake” after new figures revealed the amount being paid by private renters in England is approaching parity with mortgage payments.

Ten years ago, the amount of rent being paid was only 30 per cent of the total handed over by homeowners, but now the figure is more than 75 per cent, according to new analysis by housing charity Shelter.

The total amount spent on private rent jumped more than 160 per cent in less than a decade, from £15.9bn in 2006 to £41.3bn in 2015-16, according to the report that used the most up-to-date figures possible.

Meanwhile, the total spent by home owners almost flatlined – rising just 5 per cent, from £52.1bn to £54.9bn. The figures were not adjusted for inflation.

Greg Beales, director of campaigns at Shelter, said: “A rent crisis has been creeping up on us for years, with rents soaring along with the number of people renting.

“Consecutive governments have done little to stop it, leaving families right across the country struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

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“This government should step in and give families protection from this ‘rentquake’ by building far more homes that are genuinely affordable to rent.”

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said in a statement: “After eight years of failure, the Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis.

“Ministers admit the housing market is broken but they won’t act to make it work better for private renters.

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“The next Labour government will call time on bad landlords and bring in new three-year tenancies with control on rents.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said the government had delivered more than 357,000 new affordable properties since 2010.

“We are determined to do more, and are investing a further £9billion in affordable homes, including £2billion to help councils and housing associations build properties for social rent,“ said the spokesperson.

“We are also committed to giving councils the power to borrow £1billion to build new properties in the areas were there are the greatest affordability pressures.

“To help make renting fairer and more transparent, we are banning letting fees and cracking down on rogue landlords.“

They added that the government will consult on options to support landlords to offer longer tenancies to those who want them, giving tenants more security of tenure in their homes.

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