What renters need from their landlords
Sociology students from Solent University, have undertaken research alongside East London-based community organisation Toynbee Hall
Second-year Sociology students from Solent University, have undertaken research alongside East London-based community organisation Toynbee Hall that will contribute to changes around renting in London and the UK.
This report presented five key themes following questions which were formulated by working with Toynbee Hall. The report shows that landlords largely ‘fell into’ the business of renting properties. Communication with tenants was said to be good with all landlords in this study. But the relationship always involved some commercial or financial aspect. For instance, landlords often found that maintaining good relationships meant cutting rent (e.g., during Covid-19 lockdown and period of furlough) or meant paying for and fixing items – even if damages were caused by tenants themselves.
As part of their ‘Researching the Social World’ module, students undertook significant research to highlight the challenges that landlords face, as well as some of communication issues between young renters and landlords. The report also importantly considers the landlords experiences alongside the renters.
Course Leader in Sociology at Solent University, Brian McDonough says: “We were thrilled to partner with Toynbee Hall on this study, and really proud of the Solent students who took a lead on interviewing landlords, embracing the research methods, and undertaking relevant live research with a community organisation.”
Dr. Xia Lin, Head of Research, Toynbee Hall says: “In our Young Renters Participatory Action Research project, our peer researchers explored the renting experiences of young people. By collecting insights from landlords’ perspective, this study by Solent students has improved our understanding of the private rental sector. It has strengthened our evidence base which has supported the partnership between renters and landlords in co-designing solutions such as renting app and not-for-profit letting agencies. We hugely value their contribution and want to thank them for their support.”
The research forms part of a wider Participatory Action Research (PAR) project conducted by Toynbee Hall, read the full report here