Long-term private renters: Perceptions of security and insecurity

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Sociology, 2017, 53 (3), pp. 653 - 669
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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. Many developed economies, especially in ‘liberal welfare regimes’, have experienced a substantial growth in private rental housing. Bound up with this dynamic is the rising incidence of long-term private renting (private renting for ten years or more). Regulation of the private rental sector in liberal welfare regimes is light and post the written agreement residents are subject to constant de jure insecurity. Drawing on a questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews (the primary focus), this article investigates the impacts of perpetual de jure housing insecurity on long-term private renters in diverse housing markets (low-, medium- and high-rent) in Sydney and Melbourne. The results indicate that de jure insecurity does not necessarily translate into de facto insecurity. Long-term private renters typically respond to perpetual de jure insecurity in one of three ways – incessant anxiety and fear; lack of concern; and concern offset by economic/social capital and traded off against locational preference.
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