A survey of over 2,000 tenants by a specialist buy to let lender shows that contrary to the popular belief, most tenants like renting and appreciate the property they call home.

Paragon Bank’s UK Tenant Report 2020 shows that contrary to the perception of reluctant renters, over half (54 per cent) state that renting either suits their current situation or that they enjoy renting.

Reasons for that include not having to worry about repairs (48 per cent), the flexibility to move easily (35 per cent), great location (32 per cent), being able to live in an area they couldn’t afford to buy (31 per cent) and the property being perfect for them (22 per cent).

Satisfaction with rented accommodation increases with age. Nearly seven in 10 of over 55s said that renting suited their needs or they enjoyed renting, compared with 49 per cent in the under 55 group.

Overall, the majority of tenants (59 per cent) like the property they live in, although four in 10 think improvements are required. Over six in 10 tenants state that the property feels like home, even if they don’t own it.

Tenants also enjoy a strong relationship with landlords, with over half of tenants letting direct from their landlord and 39 per cent letting via a letting agent.

Overall, 68 per cent stating that they have a positive working relationship with their landlord, 80 per cent stating that their landlord is easy to contact, 65 per cent report the landlord makes repairs promptly and 58 per cent say that repairs are made to a good standard.

“We spoke to nearly 2,000 tenants in the private rental sector across the country about their experiences of renting and the results confirmed what we suspected. The tenant base is diverse – from young couples finding their first home together, to families, to people in later life who may live on their own – but it’s one that sees the benefits of the tenure” explains Richard Rowntree, Paragon’s managing director of mortgages.

“Of course, the UK is a nation of homeowners and many tenants naturally aspire to own their own property, particularly those in the younger age brackets, but people are generally happy in their rented home, recognise that it suits their needs and, on the whole, enjoy a good relationship with their landlord.”

The survey by Paragon Bank also found that 72 per cent of those in rented accommodation would like to own a property in the future; those in the 25 to 34 age category have the greatest desire to buy a home, with 88 per cent of tenants in this group saying they want to own a property in the future.

This falls to 70 per cent within the 45 to 54 age group, with half of 55 to 64 year old tenants stating they want to buy a property.

Only 34 per cent of tenants in the 65 or age group want to buy in the future.

According to UK Finance data, the average age of a first-time buyer in 2019 was 32.

The ability to save for a home also falls as tenants get older. Nearly three quarters of tenants aged between 18 and 24 that want to own a home save regularly towards a deposit, with 71 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34 saving regularly.

This falls successively for following age brackets: 58 per cent for 35 to 44 year olds, 45 per cent for those between 45 and 54 and 41 per cent for 55 to 64 year olds.

There is a slight uptick to 43 per cent of those aged 65 or over who want to buy a home saving monthly to do so.

“Our research shows a strong desire to buy amongst younger tenants who will typically use rented property as a starter home before stepping on the property ladder. This cohort also is more able to save for a deposit, making their aim of buying a home more attainable” says Richard Rowntree.

“As tenants reach their middle-aged years, the desire to own a home becomes less pronounced, but so does the ability to save for a property. These tenants will typically stay in the private rented sector for a longer period, maybe for the rest of their lives.”