There are 11 million people in the private rented sector

Published: 5th Dec 2019

In brief

Claim

Since 2010 a million more households are stuck renting from a private landlord. More than 11 million people rent from a private landlord and many of them are at the sharp end of the housing crisis.

Conclusion

The numbers on the scale of private renting are accurate.

The Labour manifesto claims that since 2010 one million more households are “stuck renting from a private landlord.” It also claims that “more than 11 million people rent from a private landlord and many of them are at the sharp end of the housing crisis.” These figures are accurate.

In 2009/10 there were 3.4 million households renting from a private landlord and this has risen to 4.5 million in 2017/18 (the latest year for which there is data). That’s an increase of 1.2 million. These 4.5 million households contain over 11 million people.

It’s unclear what exactly Labour means when it says these people are “at the sharp end of the housing crisis”, but it could be taken to mean that they struggle to afford housing and live in poor quality housing.

29% of people renting from a private landlord, and not receiving housing benefit which covers the entirety of their rent, say that it is difficult to pay the rent. 17% of households in the private rented sector have a health and safety hazard severe enough that a local council is required to take action when they become aware of it. The most common types of this sort of hazard are excess cold and fall hazards.

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