Your home is your castle as the saying goes and owning your own home holds a certain status in the UK. Other countries differ in opinion and renting accommodation is the norm.

In France, almost half the population are tenants, and many go so far as to pay extra to rent their own choice of kitchen. In Germany, it’s a similar story. Kitchens, garages and other amenities are paid for on top of the ‘cold’ or basic rental agreement. Renting a home is the preferred choice for the majority with almost 70% of the population in long-term rental accommodation. Stricter laws and tenancy rights tend to give people more freedom than in this country. Tenants are expected to treat their rental property as they would their own home. Decorating and maintaining their rental home and making decisions such as keeping pets is part and parcel of normal family life.

In contrast, UK citizens have fewer rights and are less protected. According to the 2017/18 English Housing Survey, 36% of the population of England rent their home. Of these, 19% rent privately. Figures from the 1980’s and 90’s show this proportion has increased from 10% and has sparked calls for English rental law to adopt similar rules to those in Germany or France. There have also been recent petitions to parliament to include rental information on prospective mortgage applications. Afterall, if you’ve been in long-term rental and not missed a payment, surely that shows a high level of commitment and creditworthiness?

For both tenants and landlords, the biggest risk is not meeting those monthly payments. Given that The Money Charity published a report showing the amount of UK households with little to no savings is increasing and an RSA/Populus survey indicated that 70% of the UK’s workers were ‘chronically broke,’ this is precarious.

For those hoping to make the jump onto the housing ladder, being able to have a steady rental record could be crucial. For those happy in their accommodation, facing the prospect of having to move on and find somewhere else is not only an inconvenience but expensive. For landlords, having to evict a tenant due to non-payment is a similar worry.

Something can be done about this. Income protection is not just for home owners. Short term income protection can protect both the tenant and the landlord. If circumstances suddenly change, whether it be unexpected illness, redundancy or a change in income, the cover could make the difference in being able to pay for regular outgoings including rent and bills.

For landlords, rent guarantee insurance can work the other way around protecting your rental income if your tenants are unable to pay and covering legal expenses should you need them.

None of us like to think that we’ll be unable to continue in the way we do but protecting ourselves should the unexpected happen, is a sensible option. Talk to us today about costs and the range of available protection products that may suit your circumstances.