The UK’s rental market has become so competitive that many Brits are feeling the pressure and rushing into rental decisions they regret further down the line.
This is the finding of the latest research* conducted on our behalf.
The equivalent of 19.6 million Brits live in a rental property (either privately rented or with a social landlord). With more than half (52%) of 25 to 34-year-olds residing in rented accommodation, it would appear this age band is ‘generation rent’.
And despite London’s reputation for sky-high property prices – making it increasingly difficult to climb on to the property ladder in the city – the capital was pipped by the North East as the region with the most renters.
Worryingly, more than one quarter – the equivalent of 5.3 million Brits – of those who rent feel as though they were rushed into entering their tenancy agreement.
Given 1.5 million tenants said they signed their tenancy agreement within a single day of viewing the property, it’s perhaps no surprise so many felt rushed. Men were more likely to come to a verdict within 24 hours than women, and those aged between 25 and 34 were more likely to act hastily than any other age group.
Slightly more (1.9 million) signed their rental contract between 2-3 days after viewing the property, and a similar number of tenants waited just 4 to 7 days after their initial visit to sign the tenancy agreement.
London lived up to its reputation as a place where the rental market moves swiftly, with the capital coming out joint top with Northern Ireland for those who felt forced into making a quick decision.
Wales (13%), the North East (17%) and the South West (20%) earned the status of the least rushed regions when it comes to signing tenancy agreements.
Riddled with regret
According to our research, half of UK tenants – the equivalent of 10 million Brits – regret renting their current property.
The number one cause of regret was the accommodation being too cold (10%), followed closely by being too small (9%) and needing too much work doing to it (9%).
Other common causes of rental remorse include: dislike of the surrounding area (8%); not enough outdoor space (6%); lack of character (4%); the property looking too old-fashioned (4%); and the property being too far away from amenities (2%).
Women were marginally more likely to regret their renting decision than men. More than six in 10 tenants aged between 18 and 24 admitted to renter’s remorse, making them most likely to have to live with regrets from their rushed decisions. In comparison, those aged 55 and over were least likely to regret entering their tenancy agreement.
Can I get out?
With a typical tenancy agreement lasting six months, it’s important to make sure you are certain about the property you’re agreeing to live in.
If you’re finding your current renting situation unbearable, it may be possible to leave early – but it’s likely you will have to continue with your payments for the full tenancy. The exception to this is if there is a break clause in your tenancy agreement or your landlord agrees to end the tenancy early.
*Red Dot questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 14th March 2016 – 17th March 2016, of whom 636 were Scottish residents. The figures have been calculated based on ONS 2013 population estimates of 50.3m adults 18+ in the UK.
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