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It is impossible to stereotype those renting from a private landlord, according to recent research by the Nationwide building society.

The YouGov survey of more than 2,000 tenants renting from a private landlord revealed 47 per cent were couples, 11 per cent were families, seven per cent were students living with university friends and 30 per cent were those living alone.

More than a third of men surveyed (35 per cent) rented a home alone, compared to one in four (25 per cent) women.

The survey provided a broad snapshot of diverse experiences and expectations depending on age, life stage, route to renting and location, as well as highlighting many everyday realities for renters across the UK.

Nationwide’s director of specialist lending, Paul Wootton, says: “It’s clear renting is not a one size fits all experience.

“With one in five renting a home and many expected to rent throughout their lives, tenants’ priorities differ according to where they are in their life, in the country or in their own housing journey.

“But even though the housing landscape has changed dramatically, having peace of mind and the security of somewhere fit to call home is everyone’s right, whether they rent or own their property.”

For one in four people, the most important consideration when choosing a home to rent was cost or affordability, while for one in 10 it was location or availability.

According to the survey, UK tenants renting from a private landlord stay an average of four years and two months, though almost one in three (31 per cent) stay for five years or more.

One in eight (13 per cent) stay for a decade or more – rising to almost one in five (19 per cent) of those renting on their own.

One in five of those staying put for a decade or longer were 45 to 54 year olds, while more than one in four were over the age of 55.

Mr Wootton adds: “Where older generations assumed they would own their own home, for many today long-term renting is considered the new housing normal – as it is in much of Europe.”