A third of Britons would rent for life to avoid rising property prices

Flexibility and the price of property are cited as the top reasons many people in Britain would prefer to rent for life, despite their low opinion of renting rights in the UK

Couple entering a flat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A third of Britons would be happy to rent for life, rather than buy their own home. In a recent study of over 2,000 UK tenants, conducted by Hillarys, one in three people said that they would be willing to rent forever, citing freedom to move at will and high property prices as the main reasons.

This is reflective of the nature of home ownership in much of mainland Europe where renting is seen as less of a hindrance and more of a way of life. And, 39 per cent of those surveyed said that the ability to move whenever and wherever they liked is what draws them to a life of renting.

What's more, 27 per cent feel property prices are far too high, and with the average monthly rent of those surveyed coming out as £650, the cost of buying was deemed to be much higher.

In spite of this, only 52 per cent of the people questioned said they were currently happy with renting and 34 per cent cited a lack of renters' rights as the reason why they would not wish to rent long term. A further 31 per cent were dissuaded by stories of nightmare landlords and 26 per cent fear the rising costs of renting.

Tara Hall, spokesperson for www.Hillarys.co.uk, comments, 'We hear so much about how more people have to rent long term because they can’t get on the property ladder, but it’s interesting to see how many are actually happy with this. Owning a property isn’t for everyone, especially if you like not being tied down or don’t want to spend months and months saving for huge deposits.'

In fact, 43 per cent of the people who took part in the survey have been renting for over six years showing that renting is not just for those who have recently flown the nest or moved to a new city. 

So what would make renters feel even more assured in this country?

Tighter regulation around eviction, as seen in France and Germany, would put many renters minds' at ease. Over 90 per cent said they did not believe landlords should be able to kick tenants out unless they break the law, and 89 per cent thought landlords should give tenants six months' notice – a system imposed in France.