Under 40s: Opting for Lifetime Rental Instead of Homeownership

lifetime rental over home ownership

It’s fair to say that, in the past, homeownership has been the primary goal for many young people. Times have changed, and it appears that a significant number of ‘millennials’ have now no desire to get onto the property ladder but are quite content to rent for the foreseeable future.

Renting can have many benefits, making it a more attractive proposition, with one of the main reasons cited being freedom from the financial baggage and responsibility that comes with a mortgage.

With homeownership, there are a lot of hidden costs that will be entirely the responsibility of the owner. From the initial deposit to plumbing, electric, garden, and general property maintenance, the cost of buying and maintaining a home can run into many thousands of pounds.

When you rent, you are able to budget better as you have fixed costs for the property. Your monthly rent will, for the most part, remain constant each month. Any maintenance needed is the responsibility of the landlord, not the tenant.

According to the Office of National Statistics, using figures from 2017, young people are way less likely to own their own property today than ever before. Fifty per cent of people in their mid-30s to mid-40s in 2017 had a mortgage, compared to 66% twenty years ago. The same age demographic today is three times more likely to opt for a rental property than they were two decades ago. One-third of this group lived in rental homes in 2017, compared with one-ten just twenty years ago.

The figures released indicate that the population with the highest wealth status, in any age group, is more likely to buy property than those with a lower income. The number of property buyers has decreased significantly in the last ten to twenty years, mostly due to problems raising the initial deposit. But not all renters are renting out of necessity; some are making a considered choice.

The pandemic has had a marked effect on people’s choices when it comes to where they want to live and work. The normality of working from home has caused a rethink of the type and location of homes. With the elimination of travel costs to work, many have opted to put the extra cash into a property that they can work from, basically in any location they desire, which they would not otherwise be able to afford. Another vital advantage of renting is that you are able to relocate quickly and easily without the need to sell or rent out your property.

Renters have rights that they can expect from their landlord in order to protect themselves. Renters’ rights include:

  • The right to know the identity of the landlord
  • The right to reside in a safe property that is in good repair
  • The right to be protected from unfair rent and eviction
  • They have the right to have their deposit returned, provided the property is in the same condition as when they first rented it.
  • The right to challenge excessive charges
  • The right to live undisturbed
  • The right to see the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
  • The right to a legal rental contract (for fixed tenancies over three years)

One of the drawbacks of rental properties is that UK legislation to protect private renters is very poor, and many become victims of unscrupulous landlords.