The results of LetBritain’s market research are in, and they paint a scathing portrait of the UK’s rental sector.
LetBritain’s Tenant Sentiment Index was based on an independent survey of 2,000 UK adults. This sample was weighted in accordance with the demographics of the population as a whole, to ensure it was nationally representative. Participants were asked to agree or disagree with series of statements regarding their opinions and experiences of the UK rental market. The results were clear and unequivocal – Britain’s renters are outraged.
Of Britain’s approximate 4.3 million rented households, a significant portion proved to be disillusioned and angry with a range of factors. The most damning discovery was that an enormous 40% of UK renters felt that the housing market was ‘ruthless and unethical’ – as two fifths of renters, that’s 7.21 million people who accused the rental sector of allowing ‘unscrupulous practices’. They also believed that the cutthroat nature of home lettings encouraged gazumping, the act of using a higher offer to win a property bid after another offer has already been accepted by the letting agency. In London that figure rose to 45%, demonstrating renter’s anger with the situation in the capital.
The results of the research also revealed that renters considered the entire application and letting process as unfair and frustrating. Over a third of renters felt that they had been deliberately misled by an estate agent over the competition they faced from other parties, while 38% of respondents accused estate agents of knowingly advertised phantom properties to them that were in fact not even on the market.
Relationships between tenants and letting agents came in for a particularly harsh battering, with a further 31% stating that letting agents prioritised preferred relationships with other prospective tenants, allowing them to bypass the waiting list. The attitude of disillusionment towards the entire process was clear to see from the 37% of respondents to the poll who declared the current rental system to be completely unfit for purpose.
The most significant difference between regional results was in renters who felt they had been misled about the competition they faced. In London 61% of the people polled agreed with the statement – 24% higher than in the rest of the country. In fact dissatisfaction with the capital’s market was uniformly higher than in other areas, with only one accusation receiving less than 50% agreement.
Fareed Nabir, LetBritain’s founder and CEO, said of the findings:
“Today’s research delivers some revealing insights into the opinions of generation rent. It is obvious that renters up and down the country feel let down by their estate agent… Clearly a faster, fairer and more transparent system is required to alleviate the time and stress involved in securing a rental property.”