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Private renters’ housing experiences in lightly regulated markets: Review of qualitative research

It is known that the private rented sector (PRS) accommodates an increasingly diverse range of households and plays a variety of roles in the housing market (Marsh and Gibb, 2019).  This report is one of the first efforts to review qualitative studies that foreground tenants’ voices and experiences in the PRS.  It reviews 69 publications that were conducted in the lightly regulated markets of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and US and were published since 2000. The report examines how different groups (eg low- and middle-income households, younger and older people, families with children, students and migrants) experience the PRS and argues that there are endemic problems with affordability and insecurity that impact adversely on many tenants’ well-being, health and ability to create a sense of home. Spatial inequalities are also identified, whereby the poorest tenants are increasingly concentrated in more marginal and undesirable locations, including in unconventional forms of housing such as residential caravan parks or makeshift dwellings.

The report aims to learn from international experiences and complements our previous qualitative work on the housing experiences of low-income private tenants aged 20-35 and 35-54 in the UK.

Authors: Dr Adriana Mihaela Soaita, Prof Moira Munro and Dr Kim McKee

View the accompanying executive summary for this report.


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Date: April 29, 2020 11:42 am

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