Posted 08 Sep 2017
Over a quarter of a million families forced into debt from moving home so often
“We speak to parents every day who want nothing more than to have control over their lives, and provide stability – both financially and in a settled home – for their children, but instead are constantly forced into packing up and moving on.
“The government can change all this by updating laws to offer renters longer and more stable contracts, giving them and their children a secure place to call home and a brighter future.”
Emma is a studying to be a teacher and rents in Folkestone with her husband and three children. She says having to keep moving home has driven her further and further into credit card debt.
“The first few times we moved we could borrow from family to cover the costs, but we have had to move so often that we now have to use credit cards and loans. Obviously, unlike with family and friends, these loans have fees and interest attached that can be really hard to pay back.
“Currently we have about £15,000 in debt because we're having to move home every one or two years. About four years ago we took out one lower interest bank loan to try and pay all these debts off, but because we’ve had to carry on moving home, the costs have racked up and again we are back to square one.
“I know that if me and my family had a home to rent for five years or more we could save the money to pay these debts off. But until that happens, we worry that yet another forced move is around the corner, meaning more debts and this spiral will just continue.”
Notes to Editors
- The last time they moved, a total of 255,944 private renting families took on debt in the form of credit cards, overdraft, bank loans or payday loans (25% of those who had moved). This included 133,352 using their credit cards (13%) and 111,026 their overdraft (11%).
- The average cost of moving home the last time they moved was £1,446 for private renting families, this figure does not include letting fees which are due to be scrapped by the government. Costs include removal van hire (41% or 411,824 private renting families used this the last time they moved), paying double rent (20% or 196,408), paying rent in advance (47% or 471,661), cleaning costs (23% or 234,222), replacing furniture (12% or 120,379) and others.
- 322,120 private renting families moved home three or more times in the past five years. This represents 20% of all private renting families in England.
- Survey results are based on a YouGov survey of 3,981 private renters, of which are 993 private renters with children in their household (of whom 554 who had moved between privately rented homes), England, online, weighted, August 2017.
- The number equivalents quoted are estimates calculated by Shelter using the survey results in conjunction with official statistics – The English Housing survey shows that just over 1.6 million households with children are renting privately in England.
- The average moving costs are based just on those that had moved from one privately rented home to another and is a mean average.