Renting families would prefer to buy: results of our housing survey

HousesWe asked Mumsnetters about their experience of renting in the UK.

The vast majority (87%) said they would rather buy a home - however most of those find themselves unable to buy, because they can't raise the money needed for a deposit or meet lenders' affordability criteria.

Of the renters surveyed, 78% pay more than £500 a month in rent, and most (70%) have experienced problems with heating, plumbing an/or electrics in the rental property - with the response from landlords dealing with these issues being mixed.

All Mumsnetters who responded have at least one child. Some have had to move between houses while they were pregnant or had a baby under six months old.

See the full survey results below.


Do you rent privately or socially?

 Answer options Response percent
 Privately (from a private individual/landlord or commercial agency or similar)  82%
 Socially (from a local council or housing association or similar)  17%
 Other/ not stated  2%


In an ideal world, would you prefer to buy a home (either outright or via mortgage) than to rent?

 Answer options Response percent
 Yes, I'd prefer to buy in an ideal world  87%
 No, I'm happy renting  5%
 I don't mind either way/not stated  5%
 Other  3%


If you answered 'yes' to the above question, what's stopping you from buying your own home? (Top three reasons)

Answer options Response percent - yes
 Not enough money for a deposit 72%
 Not able to get a mortgage because of household income, and/or mortgage lenders' requirements re income multiples and/or available income after outgoings 49%
 Not enough money for monthly mortgage payments 21%
 I want or need to live in a very specific area and there are no properties for sale in that area within my budget 17%
 Not able to get a mortgage for other reasons (bankruptcy, already named on another mortgage etc)  15%
 May need to change location in the near future so don't want to be tied down  9%
 Just about to buy a home  4%
 Cannot find a suitable property for my needs  4%
 Other  8%


If money is one of the things that is stopping you buying your own home, how much extra would your monthly household income need to be in order to enable you to be able to buy?

Answer options Response percent
 £100 - £499 19% 
 £500 - £999 55%
 £1,000 - £1,999 19%
 £2,000+ 3%
 Not stated 3%

People who had moved between rental properties in the last five years had moved on average 1.6 times. 

Thinking about the last time you moved between rental properties: did you receive notice to quit from your landlord, or was it your decision to move?

Answer options Response percent
 Our/my decision  71%
 Landlord's decision  24%
 Other  4%
 Not stated  1%


If you have received notice to quit from your landlord in the last 5 years, have any of the following happened to you as a family? (All that apply)

Answer options Response percent
 Received notice to move whilst pregnant (or while spouse pregnant)  21%
 Received notice to move whilst your baby was under six months old 26%
 Received notice to move whilst in the process of applying for school places for your children


 Received notice to move whilst you or a member of your household were receiving care in hospital as an in-patient  4%
 Had to switch your children's schools because of a house move necessitated by landlord's notice  11%
 Other inconvenience caused by being asked to move  44%


Have you ever needed to ask your landlord to deal with any of the following in your rental home? (All that apply)

Answer options Response percent
 Damp in the home  42%
 Heating/boiler/hot water not working  70%
 Repairs needed to roof, building structure of exterior  37%
 Gas appliances not working 14%
 Oven/cooker/hob not working  29%
 Basin/sinks/taps/pipes or other parts of the water supply not working  49%
 Electrical wiring needing attention  24%
 Other  15%
 Not stated  5%


How would you describe your landlord's response to dealing with such problems (above)?

Answer options Response percent
 Excellent - the problem was sorted quickly and efficiently 28%
 Fine - there was some inconvenience but nothing we couldn't handle/we understood why 34%
 Neutral - response was neither good nor bad 7%
 Poor - the problems took a while to fix and/or communication could have been better 16%
 Terrible - the problem took ages to fix or still isn't fixed, and communication has been poor 14%


Thinking about your rental contract with your landlord, whatever type of tenancy agreement you have, is your tenancy for a fixed term or is it open-ended?

Answer options Response percent
 Fixed term  40%
 Open-ended  50%
 Other  4%
 Don't know/not stated  6%


If your tenancy is for a fixed term, how long is the total tenancy period specified in your contract?

Answer options Response percent
 Less than 6 months 2%
 6 months 22%
 7-11 months 1%
 12 months 68%
 13-23 months 2%
 24 months 8%
 25 months or more 4%

Survey of 1115 Mumsnet users living in the UK who currently pay rent or live in rental accommodation, and who have at least one child. Survey conducted 13-23 March 2015.


Last updated: over 5 years ago