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Renters report higher stress, lower quality of life than home owners

By Staff Reporter
24 April 2024 | 9 minute read
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A new report makes it clear just how much housing can be tied to mental health.

Commissioned by UK-based deposit scheme Zero Deposit, the research polled 1,005 renters and 1,005 home owners to discover how they feel their standard of living has been impacted by their housing situation.

The results show that when asked how their living arrangements impacted their quality of life, just 35 per cent of home owners had either a neutral or negative response. By contrast, 64 per cent of renters reported their quality of life as average or poor, thanks to their housing.

In addition, a higher proportion of home owners said they had the highest quality of life, with 20 per cent responding positively, while just 7 per cent of renters said the same.

Anxiety as a result of housing was also higher among renters than home owners, with 78 per cent of home owners responding that they had either very little or an average amount of stress, while 58 per cent of renters returned the same response.

Moreover, 18 per cent of renters answered that their living situation caused them a lot of stress, while only 7 per cent of home owners reported the same levels.

The precarity of renting appeared to also have an impact on outlook, with renters responding with less expectation that positive events will befall them in the future.

The research indicated that 10 per cent of renters said they held no hope for the future, as opposed to just 4 per cent of home owners.

On the other side of the coin, 22 per cent of home owners said they were very hopeful about the future, with 13 per cent of renters responding similarly.

And when asked which factors had the biggest influence on their thoughts and feelings about the areas previously mentioned, home owners said security of income was the biggest influence, followed by the level of income generated.

For tenants, the level of income generated ranked top, although for them, security over their long-term living arrangements was the second largest concern.

Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit, said: “It’s clear from our research that those within the rental sector are largely less positive about their quality of life, under more stress as a result of renting and, as a result, have less hopes for the future.”

“The results perfectly summarise the challenges for tenants: a stable income and certainty of living arrangements,” he said.

Reynolds described renting, for those who have no other housing choice, as “a tough place to be, as not only do they face ever increasing rents and the high initial cost of securing a rental property, but house prices also remain well out of reach for many, leaving them little choice but to remain living within the rental sector”.

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