PRESS ARTICLE: Social tenants have worse mental health than private tenants

Social tenants are suffering with poor mental and lower levels of life satisfaction than private tenants, according to new research.

The findings from the latest 2019-20 English Housing Survey show that social tenants have the lowest levels of life satisfaction (71%); are least likely to believe that life is worthwhile (74%); and have the lowest levels of happiness (70%) compared to all other housing groups. The survey also found that social renters also experienced the highest degree of anxiety (32%).

Tenants in the private sector demonstrated much better mental health, with over two thirds satisfied with life (73%) and 78% felt that life was worthwhile. A further 73% said they were happy and just 29% experienced anxiety.

Not surprisingly, the happiest group were homeowners with 79% satisfied with life, 81% believing that life is worthwhile, 78% were happy, while 25% said they were anxious.

The survey also found that social renting is the most static of the three main housing groups with 145,000 moves among the 4m in 2019-20 in the sector. Some 23,000 people moved from the social to the private rented sector with an undisclosed number (because the sample size is so small) moving into owner occupation.

The PRS had 703,000 moves in 2019-20 within its 4.4m renters with 131,000 new households; 192,000 buying a property; and 74,000 moving into social renting. 99,000 People moving from property owning into private renting accounted for 99,0000.

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of Pick My Pad, a part of The Mistoria Group, comments: “It’s very sad that so many social tenants are suffering with poor mental health. The pandemic has caused all kinds of issues and as the lockdown measures ease, it is incumbent on the PRS industry to take action to provide greater support to tenants.

“According to the charity Mind, housing and mental health are often linked. Poor mental health can make it harder to cope with housing problems, while being homeless or having problems in your home can make your mental health worse.

“Landlords need to work with their tenants because if they are looked after, they will be more content and are much more likely to look after the property. It is important that landlords maintain dialogue – verbally and by email/SMS, so that tenants are comfortable raising any issue or problem with the property. This could be the difference between a tenant reporting a simple leaking tap or a burst pipe, that has flooded the kitchen.

Pick My Pad does not discriminate against any tenants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and all applicants will be treated fairly. There is a reference process, but where applicants are not able to meet certain requirements regarding guarantors or deposit, Pick My Pad can access services to assist with securing a tenancy eg Rental Bonds and advance payments.

Pick My Pad will ensure, where applicable, Housing Benefit/Universal Credit will be paid direct to the them to ensure landlords don’t have the extra worries of ensuring the rent is paid on time. www.pickmypad.com or call 0161 790 3999.