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Lettings News: ‘Generation Rent’ gives up on the housing ladder


Ahead of May’s General Election, Flatsharing site Weroom (weroom.co.uk) has released research showing a growing demand for regulation of the UK rental market from voters, as renting increasingly becomes the norm. With over 4.5 million renters now in the UK, 55% of 1,000 respondents polled by One Poll claimed they would be happy to give up on the dream of home ownership and never buy a property if renting offered secure tenancies, and controlled rents that were affordable within their salary bracket.

When asked which of the political parties was best placed to satisfy the needs of ‘Generation Rent’, the research puts Labour policies firmly in the minds of voters, yet the party is still failing to connect, getting little recognition for its policies.

Two of Labour’s proposals to solve the UK’s housing crisis ranked in the top three policies most people want to see introduced in the UK housing market. Over a third (37%) of respondents would like to see letting agents’ fees abolished. Meanwhile, 30% of renters said they would like to see predictable rents set and reviewed on an annual basis.

Despite having the most desired renting policies in the coming election, Ed Milliband is struggling to make waves with the electorate, with only 19% of people believing the Labour Party is the most dedicated to improving conditions for renters.

The third most popular renting policy came from the Conservatives, with 1 in 4 (25 %) wanting the elected party to create 100,000 discounted new homes for first-time buyers.

Proving that the Conservatives might have secured support from young property seekers in the UK, 45% of 18–24 year olds revealed the erection of discounted homes was their top priority when it came to renting policies.

However, the poll revealed that all respondents in the 35–55+ category ranked the Labour party policies on housing as the top three measures they would like to see introduced, following the election.

An even lower 7% of respondents think the Conservatives would be the best in improving circumstances through their policy-making.

Thomas Villeneuve, CEO of Weroom, comments; “As the General Election comes into view and the top political parties attempt to win over the nation, the growing population that makes up ‘Generation Rent’ is wondering – who is going to help make renting more affordable? And it’s a fantastic question to ask as Britain becomes less a nation obsessed with purchasing properties, but instead, one that looks to flatsharing as a more long term alternative.

“While the majority of respondents seem to be in support of the Labour Party when it comes to policies within the property sector, those that are affected by the extortionate rental charges rife within the UK are calling out for the party in power to produce a dedicated renting minister.

Indeed, this might be the long term solution that everyone is looking for and the one that could instil a new culture in the UK that sees Brits move away from buying properties and towards the ideal that flatsharing could be something they do for life.”