Rent.com.au’s latest survey shows stereotypes of rental tenants are out of date. Renting families are the biggest portion and they are worried about their long-term security

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The majority of Australian renters are families and typically stay in their homes for more than two years at a time, despite the traditional stereotype of renters being students or young housemates, according to new research by Rent.com.au.

The survey of more than 1000 tenants also revealed that the biggest downside for renters was having to worry about their long-term security, which ranked ahead of other issues like house inspections or lease commitments.

Rent.com.au CEO Greg Bader said the findings were not surprising, however it is concerning that families are worried about their long-term security given that a growing number of Australians were becoming long-term renters as housing affordability decreased.

“Almost one in three Australians are renters – that’s about 7 million people who are having to worry about their long-term security, and the majority are families. It’s time Australia looked at new ways to make long-term renting a more secure option, to give both tenants and landlords peace of mind,” Mr Bader said.

Key findings of the Rent.com.au survey were that:

  • The biggest demographic of respondents were families (40%), followed by couples without children (23%) and single occupants (23%). Just 10% shared with housemates.
  • More than a third of respondents (37%) said they had been renting for more than 10 years, and almost two thirds (64%) said they typically stayed in rental properties for more than 2 years at a time.
  • Respondents cited being worried about their long-term security as the biggest downside to renting, above potential problems such as having to break a lease, undergoing rental inspections, social stigma or paying someone else’s mortgage.
  • More than a third of respondents (35%) said they were renting because it was the only option they could afford, while others preferred it to buying a house (20%), were going through a transition such as relocation or break-up (18%) or were currently saving for a deposit (18%).

Mr Bader said the survey showed that Australian renters were more diverse than traditional stereotypes.

“Australia’s growing renter group is one that is in need for more advocacy and recognition. We’re at a point of increased momentum for renters beginning to vocalise their needs. Rent.com.au is always interested in how we can better serve Australia’s growing renting population,” Mr Bader said.

Rent.com.au’s focus is, and continues to be, building equity in this space and representing renters’ interests. Whether renters are renting for lifestyle preference, investing while renting or working towards home ownership, we will continue to look closely at this demographic and work to facilitate better communication, products, services and support within the entire process.

“I think Australia as a country has started grappling with the fact that home ownership is not the only norm. The question now is how we move forward in a way that ensures long-term renting is a safe and secure option for families. Renters want a place they can make a home just as much as everyone else.”

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For further information: media@rent.com.au or 1300 736 810

Did you see these results featured on Sunrise on 12 October? Watch the video here!

sunriseHow do you feel about your long-term security as a renter? Share your thoughts with the Rent community in the comments below!

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