Last week AXA warned landlords they are not doing enough to protect themselves. This seemed to be endlessly tweeted at our twitter feed so we took a look. Apparently 60% of UK tenants are breaking the terms of their rental agreement which seemed a very grand claim considering the actual figures were not published.

According to the footnotes “The sample was 2,000 people who are currently renting property in the UK” so the actual sample is not particularly large, however, data is data and it’s how you interpret it is the key. We decided to portray the data in slightly different way…

Tenants Behaving Broadly Well:

Generation Rent shows landlords they’re actually quite fortunate

The nation’s landlords are indeed in a fortunate position when it comes to their income streams. Just as the peak season for the private rental sector is about to start, AXA has revealed the true figures of how the UK’s 8.3 million renters are behaving, broadly, very well and how landlords, when compared to other businesses or investments, are indeed lucky to have such a broadly stable client base. Indeed there seemed to be far more good tenants than bad ones – whom are in the minority.

Seventy-four per cent of tenants pay their rent on time
(equivalent to 6,142,000 tenants nationwide)

generation rent

It’s not perfect but it’s almost three quarters. That’s almost three quarters of UK tenants paying on time, every month and in cold hard cash. It’s actually quite an enviable figure as when you look at the FTs numbers on late payment for SMEs – 67% Scotland, 66% Northern Ireland, Wales 62% and England 59% – it does start to look that 26% late payment is significantly below the average for other businesses.

Ninety nine per cent of tenants do not do a moonlight flit
(equivalent to 9 out of 10 tenants nationwide)

generation rent

Wonderful news! As a landlord it’s extremely unlikely your tenant will move out in the dead of night leaving you a mess to clean up and out of pocket. If 9 out of 10 is good enough for cats then it should be good enough for landlords!

Eighty Two per cent of tenants haven’t got pets
(equivalent to 6,806,000 tenants nationwide)

generation rent

Speaking of cats… 82% of tenants don’t have one, or a dog, or even a goldfish. Most tenancy agreements come with a no pets clause attached and – despite that 18%, the majority avoid the pet store altogether. Even if, heaven forbid, they might want a pet.

Eighty five per cent of tenants haven’t had complaints about noise
(equivalent to 7,055,000 tenants nationwide)

generation rent

Noise is always a tricky one when you’re a tenant. It purely depends on your neighbours sensitivity to it and their willingness to act. Homeowners can shrug it off, renters can lose their homes. Still, despite all this trickiness it seems the vast majority are keeping the volume down creating harmonious communities.

Ninety two per cent of tenants haven’t sub-let a room
(equivalent to 7,636,000 tenants nationwide)

generation rent

We would have thought this number would be higher. Refreshingly the figures show that, again, the vast majority of renters stick to the terms of their contract even if they are squeezed for cash.

Ninety two per cent of tenants do not commit crime
(Just a percentile was given so no idea of the numbers)

generation rent

While it’s relevant this statistic seems a little bit extreme to measure. It would be interesting to compare it to the national crime figures and see if it compares. However it’s a very low 8% and, while we do not condone any form of breaking the law in any aspect, it’s a bit of an occupational hazard in life generally.

In Conclusion

Without the real figures it’s pretty hard to figure out where the 60% “tenants breaking their agreements” comes from, we added it all together and it ends up at 70% so there is some adjustment in there. The fact that it was portrayed in such a dark and pessimistic way is probably down to marketing but if you shine the sun on the numbers it all looks very rosy.

It would seem that every time you read, see or hear about the PRS in the media there is a single mantra preached. “Yes, there are a few rogue landlords but the vast majority are really good”.

Whilst the same brush paints a vision of tenants as bunch of viciously late paying, noisy, criminal and property destroying monsters. Let us say back to the members of the PRS…

“Yes, there are a few rogue tenants but the figures show that the vast majority of us ARE really good”.