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Tenants demand voice in government as homeownership dreams fade

  • 29/05/2015
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Tenants demand voice in government as homeownership dreams fade
As tenants' expectations of owning their own home falls, year-on-year demand for a government minister to champion their cause has emerged.

A survey carried out by estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains of 750 tenants revealed that 60% wanted a minister whose specific responsibility was to look after people who rented their homes. Just 14% of respondents said they thought it was a bad idea.

Demand for a voice inside government comes as tenants revealed they are less optimistic about when they would be able to buy their own home. Some 11% expect to get a foot on the property ladder within the next 12 months compared to 13% in April 2014. Those who think they will never be able to own their own home has risen from 11% to 13% year-on-year.

When asked if they would like to own their own home if all financial constraints were discarded, 93% of tenants responded positively, almost unchanged from previous months.

Saving for a deposit was by far the biggest bar to tenants getting a foot on the property ladder with 70.8% citing it as the reason behind them choosing to continue renting.

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Tenants feel that their particular circumstance deserves special representation at the heart of government.

“The younger generation have been disproportionately disadvantaged by the recession with many stuck in lower paid roles unable to progress their careers at the same pace as the previous generation.”

Gill said the financial situation of younger borrowers had been made worse by low interest rates on savings accounts so any money set aside had been failing to work hard for them.

“What will be interesting to monitor is whether such an initiative would cause a drastic change in the way we view renting in the UK,” added Gill.

“If the flexibility of renting, which most people see as a bonus, can be combined with the stability and reassurance that a minister for tenants could provide it could create a golden formula that makes renting a better long-term as well as short-term option for many individuals and families.”

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