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Only these professions can afford to survive in the UK rental sector

Many experts believe that no more than 30% of your income should be spent on rent, while innovative lettings platform, Bunk, requires a tenant’s salary to be 2.5 times the annual rental cost of a property. But how realistic is it for a tenant to tackle the UK rental market head on and which of the top 20 most popular professions provide a salary high enough to do so?

Bunk looked at the top 20 most popular professions, their earnings, and how this compares to the average cost of renting in the UK, to highlight the difficulty faced by the nation’s renters, as well as the challenge for UK landlords when searching for a financially viable tenant for their property.

Based on the research, a landlord could be flying high if they secure a pilot in their rental property. With a net salary of £4,466 per month, rental costs account for just 15% of their pay.

With an average monthly salary of £3,763, a doctor is the next best bet for a landlord with rental costs accounting for just 18% of their pay.

Other professions to get the financial thumbs-up of 30% of rent to earnings are a lawyer (23%), a police officer (26%), an engineer (26%) an IT technician (27%), a surveyor (27%), a business analyst (27%), an accountant (30%) and a teacher (30%).

Amongst the professions that fall outside of this financial stress test are jobs such as a plumber (34%), nurse (36%), and ironically the very people who work in the industry, estate agent, who see 45% of their total income lost on the cost of renting.

The worst off are hairdressers, with rental costs accounting for 71% of the average salary in the profession.

However, with the notoriety of the London rental market, it’s no surprise that every profession in the list is spending more than 30% of their income on rent, with a lawyer the best-off at 42% per month, while a hairdresser is paying rent at 151% of their average monthly pay.

Co-founder of Bunk, Tom Woollard, commented:

“While the criteria of a good tenant goes beyond their job and the money they make, financial viability is a big factor when an agent or landlord is considering a tenants application.

Having invested a great deal of time and money into their rental property, it’s understandable that a landlord’s initial concern is recouping this investment through rental income and so this is the predominant factor when accessing tenant suitability for our landlords.

Of course, we’re not advising the UK’s landlords to head down to their nearest airfield in search of a tenant, and in fact, with pilots, lawyers and doctors accounting for just 1.2% of the population, you could argue that lower demand and potentially longer void periods could actually cost you money if only considering these professions as a tenant.

However, it really does highlight the current issues being faced by both tenant and landlord when only the very top professions are able to comfortably rent within the sector.

Our advice? Don’t try and rent beyond your means and always consider sharing the cost. As a landlord, ensure you have carried out the appropriate checks to financially qualify any and all tenants.

Failing to do so can cost you more in the long-run through missed rent payments and while you may not like it, thinking financially not emotionally is the best way to make a success of your buy-to-let investment. Particularly since the government’s attempts to dampen profitability in the sector through stamp duty hikes, tax changes, and the more recent tenant fee ban.”

Average salary of profession and rental cost in the UK
Profession
Average monthly salary (Net)
Average rent
Rent as % of monthly salary
Hairdresser
£957
£679
71%
Cleaner
£1,165
£679
58%
PA / Secretary
£1,338
£679
51%
Chef
£1,370
£679
50%
Estate Agent
£1,518
£679
45%
Clergy
£1,638
£679
41%
Marketing associate
£1,779
£679
38%
Nurse
£1,887
£679
36%
Electrician
£2,017
£679
34%
Plumber
£2,026
£679
34%
Teacher
£2,263
£679
30%
Accountant
£2,278
£679
30%
Business analyst
£2,491
£679
27%
Surveyor
£2,523
£679
27%
IT technician
£2,540
£679
27%
Engineer
£2,626
£679
26%
Police officer
£2,631
£679
26%
Lawyer
£2,972
£679
23%
Doctor
£3,763
£679
18%
Pilot
£4,466
£679
15%
United Kingdom
£1,985
£679
34%
Average salary of profession and rental cost in the London
Profession
Average monthly salary (Net)
Average rent
Rent as % of monthly salary
Hairdresser
£1,145.46
£1,727
150.77%
Cleaner
£1,393.61
£1,727
123.92%
Chef
£1,533.63
£1,727
112.61%
Clergy
£1,629.45
£1,727
105.99%
PA / Secretary
£1,716.72
£1,727
100.60%
Estate Agent
£2,164.50
£1,727
79.79%
Nurse
£2,194.93
£1,727
78.68%
Plumber
£2,297.55
£1,727
75.17%
Electrician
£2,318.41
£1,727
74.49%
Surveyor
£2,334.22
£1,727
73.99%
Teacher
£2,625.54
£1,727
65.78%
Marketing associate
£2,702.27
£1,727
63.91%
Engineer
£2,812.09
£1,727
61.41%
Police officer
£2,906.72
£1,727
59.41%
IT technician
£3,005.21
£1,727
57.47%
Accountant
£3,352.50
£1,727
51.51%
Doctor
£3,396.38
£1,727
50.85%
Business analyst
£3,417.79
£1,727
50.53%
Lawyer
£4,153.43
£1,727
41.58%
London
£2,592.84
£1,727
66.61%
United Kingdom
£1,985.09
£679.25
34.22%
*No London data for the average pilot salary
Sources
Salary (Gov/ONS)
Rents (Gov/ONS)

 

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