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A single person’s guide to renting – information and options

Renting a home of your own

8.4 million people now rent their homes; made up of 4.5 million single, couple and family households in privately rented accommodation & 3.9 million renting social housing


Although buying a home is the biggest financial commitment in most people’s lives, paying the rent is the biggest monthly outgoing for tenants. So, for single people with plans to buy their home, paying out that chunk of your income to rent a place makes it even more difficult to save for deposit.  But if you are happy to rent, the chances are that the monthly costs of keeping that roof over your head may be higher than normal.

These and other financial pressures also mean that more people choose to rent longer than they normally would, now continuing as tenants for 10 to 20 years longer than they would have done before into their 30’s and 40’s, before they are able to buy their own home.

Latest stats from the English Housing Survey show that there’s been a shift from owning to renting and there are now 4.5 million single and family households renting private accomodation and 3.9 million renting social housing. More than 75% of single men and 60% of single women in the 18-35 age group now rent homes with the number growing each year.

Numbers of people renting a home has soared by 40% during the past five years as challenging times, relatively low levels of house building and difficulty getting mortgages makes it hard for potential buyers to get on the property ladder.

The better news is that this trend and what seems to be an unfair situation for a huge chunk of people now renting has led to a more open debate resulting in some initial practical measures, one of them is the government plans to ban letting agent’s fees, (although none of the promised developments have been announced yet).

A shift from owning to renting
75% of single men and 60% of single women between 18-35 rent their homes

What does this mean if you’re single?

High costs of renting in the UK affects a HUGE number of single people; existing tenants and single people looking to set up home on their own. The average monthly rent recorded between April 2016 & March 2017 in England was £675 rising to double for London rental properties – 85% of an average single tenant’s monthly salary.

A practical guide to renting, information, rental options, benefits, rights for single tenants

So is there any support out there for single tenants then? Finding a new home to rent or renting a home for the first time as a single person can be a big challenge. So if it’s just you on your own having to tackle the rental market then we believe forewarned is forearmed, in this section you’ll find a handy up to date guide to some of the jargon and other things you need to know like practical info on different private and social housing rental options, where to start and information on your rights.