The average housing rent deposit, customarily given by tenants to landlords at the start of their contract, has shot up by a staggering 50% since 2007 from £600 to £900, according to compelling new figures released by a prominent custodial protection organisation.
The Data Protection Service undertook a study into the change in the average deposit requirements obligated of tenants between 2007 and 2014, and found that landlords have begun to ask for 6 weeksí worth of rent as an upfront payment rather than the traditional four.
The research was given support and backing from the Department of Communities and Local Government, who entrusted the DRS- who preside over safeguarding roughly £900m in deposits on behalf of over 1.5m tenants- to provide th em with an accurate indication of the financial pressure tenants within the private rental sector are faced with at present.
ìWe suspect that since the introduction of tenancy deposit protection, landlords have realised that four weeksí rent is not a sufficient size deposit, so have increased it to six weeksî.
This information is made all the more unsettling due to the reality that the average wage in the UK has only grown by
13%, in monetary terms since the same date, meaning that millions of people who live in rented accommodation have seen the financial strain on their income grow substantially in the past seven years.
Moreover, the booming property market in the UK, particularly in London and the South East, has amplified the likelihood that a number of young workers in the current generation will rent property for a lot longer, rather than take on huge levels of debt in order to cover the costs of paying for a home and the rapidly rising prices that are beginning to come with them.
This has made the importance of ensuring the private rental sector in the country is stable and secure paramount, though the DPSís figures suggest that the reality of the situation is entirely the opposite, with tenants seemingly been given little choice but to adhere to their landlordís demands, without being given the protection necessary to achieve long term financial security across individual circles in the sector.
ëA second-class tenureí
Campaign group, Generation Rent, whom have tirelessly fought for a restructuring of Britainís private rental sector, have welcomed the data as the necessary reinforcement they have required to promulgate the concerns they have held for a long time.
Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, said: "Private renting is a second-class tenure, treated by government more as an investment vehicle for a small minority than a place to live for nine million people. Despite policies to help renters into home ownership, the majority of us will be renting for many years to come. We need a place we can call home ñ something that owner-occupiers take for granted.
"Long-term tenancies benefit both tenants and landlords who can not only better plan their finances but work together without suspicion to keep the property in good repair. The next government must enshrine the right to a long tenancy into law, otherwise letting agents will simply block them and continue to cream off renewal fees."
The housing lobbyists also called for the instigation of a £1 billion strategy to construct 10,000 new properties on stated-owned. Under Generation Rentís proposals, this land would be used to erect new housing and then sold to owner occupiers with the pre-requisite that they do not sell their acquisition in the future by any price that is not in line with inflation. Landlordís would also be able to purchase the property, though they would be obligated to accept that their rent arrangements would have some form of external control being exerted on them.
All of the funds obtained from the future property sales would then by utilised to finance the construction of further new housing under an equivalent model, the campaign group said.
The overall costs of the housing benefit has risen substantially in recent times, with official figures estimating that it soared to £21 billion a year in England, with all relevant individuals within the private rental sector believed to have been negatively affected by this actuality. Generation Rent has argued that this money would be more beneficially used on areas such as the construction of public housing, rather than simply being taken by private landlords.
ìThe cost of housing is the single biggest threat to living standards in the UK. High private sector rents are stopping people from saving for their future and putting pressure on the public purse. A new, properly funded Department for Housing could double the rate of house building and keep a lid on a welfare bill that has become a subsidy for private landlords," said Hilton.