Are rental deposits in the UK more affordable than other countries?

May 7, 2020
Press release


Are rental deposits in the UK more affordable than other countries?

Research we recently carried out compares the average cost of UK rental deposits with 14 other nations that have the highest percentage of tenants across the world.

We looked at the wide variety of rental deposit calculations across the 15 nations and delved into what this means financially for tenants.

In England and Wales, the average tenant currently pays a deposit of £1,139, although across the UK this is marginally more affordable at £811.

As a result of the tenant fees ban, the latest changes mean that landlords and agents can now only charge five weeks’ rent as a deposit (where the annual rent is less than £50,000). And whilst this might still seem high, there are tenants around the globe with a much larger financial obstacle in front of them.

Japan is top of the list, where 38.3 per cent of the population rely on renting, tenants are required to pay an eye-watering 10 months’ rent as a deposit! This means that the average tenant is required to find an upfront cost of £6,145.

Like Japan, South Korea also requires tenants to pay 10 months’ rent as a deposit, costing an average of £4,360.

In Denmark, deposits are based on three months’ rent, with a further three months paid upfront, this, therefore, costs the average tenant £4,432 to secure a rental property and is second on the list.

Across the pond, US tenants face paying as much as three and a half months’ rent upfront (£3,547). However, in 24 of the 51 states, there is no statutory limit on security deposits and in these states, landlords and agents can legally charge a rental deposit of whatever they see fit.

Switzerland is the fifth most expensive nation in terms of rental deposits and the only other nation to see the average tenancy deposit exceed £3,000 on average. Swiss tenants are required to pay as much as three months’ rent to secure a rental property, coming in at an average cost of £3,542.

Germany (£1,860), Austria (£1,839), Israel (£1,598), Canada (£1,488), Australia (£1,269) and France (£1,146) are also home to some of the highest proportion of renters and an average tenancy deposit higher than that found in the UK.

In fact, only New Zealand (£743) and Turkey (£527) were found to charge a more affordable rental deposit. In Sweden, it is common practice to take no rental deposit at all!

Are rental deposits in the UK more affordable than other countries?

Matthew Hooker, Co-Founder of Ome says:

“Affordability is an emotive word that implies whether or not someone can have the product or service they want. When you compare renting in the UK with other countries our deposits are actually “more affordable”, however, that doesn’t help our squeezed tenants feel any better. The reality is that renting in the UK can be expensive. Saving up your first months’ rent and paying the five weeks’ deposit means moving home can set you back 10 weeks’ worth of rent and that’s excluding moving costs! That can be all whilst waiting for your previous deposit to be given back to you.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as renting without any sort of deposit or security. Look to the Swedes, whilst they do not use deposits, they do have central registers of tenants and rent payment histories to protect landlords.
Landlords need security to feel comfortable letting someone else live in one of their largest assets. That’s why, at Ome, we’re focusing on how we can provide the landlord with the exact same financial protection as a cash deposit, whilst reducing the upfront costs to tenants when moving home to improve their day-to-day cash flow and rental wellbeing.”