Interpreting the rise of long-term private renting in a liberal welfare regime context

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Housing Studies, 2017, 32 (8), pp. 1062 - 1084
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In liberal market Anglophone nations private rental housing is typically lightly regulated, offering residents little security of tenure. This is important in the context of a sector expanding to encompass growing numbers of families with children and others resident for long periods. Australia’s rate of long-term private renting (at least 10 years in the sector) has doubled since the 1990s.This means drawn-out exposure to risks of landlord-instigated moves and unpredictable rent increases. We explore the factors underlying this development and its implications in terms of the experiences and perspectives of long-term (private) renters – LTRs. While increasingly unaffordable home ownership is likely the prime factor underlying rising LTR rates, lifestyle choices are also significant – at least in Australia’s major cities which offer scope for trading-off desired location against owner-occupier status. While many tenants appear sanguine about their housing security, this is highly problematic for the lower-income residents lacking other choices and many of whom are likely to remain lifelong renters.
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