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Over a third of private renters finding it difficult to afford rent, according to Voice of the Tenant survey

The TDS Charitable Foundation has published its latest Voice of the Tenant survey (Wave 4), which shows that 35% of private renters are struggling to afford their rent. This figure has grown from 32% the previous year.

The Voice of the Tenant survey is a regular 6-monthly survey carried out with a representative sample of over 2000 tenants. The data from the latest survey, which was carried out in March 2024, also shows that the proportion of tenants who are finding it difficult to afford rent increases to 56% for those not in work due to long-term sickness or disability. Students and those in receipt of benefits are also more likely to be struggling to afford rent, with 45% and 43% stating this respectively.  

The findings also show that the cost of rent rose by 7% between March 2023 and March 2024. This is a slower rate of growth compared to the previous period; Wave 3 of the survey showed that rents increased by 17% between September 2022 and September 2023. However, despite this slowdown, a significant proportion of tenants are still struggling with rental costs.

Most private tenants are also finding it difficult to afford household essentials, with 55% saying they have had to cut back on expenses such as food, heating, and clothing to afford the rent. This increased to 72% amongst single parent renters and 62% for households with children.


 All the main political parties are committed to reforming the private rented sector. However, this research shows that ending section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions’ will not, on its own, provide tenants with the security they need without action to tackle the affordability of rents by addressing the current supply shortage




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