Gender Rent Gap: Female renters spend 14% more of salary on rent than males

Across the UK, the average man is required to spend 28% of their salary on rent, while the average woman’s rent uses 42.6% of their salary, our latest research shows.

We looked into the vast gap in the rental affordability of male and female workers in the UK, and how this impacts their rental potential across the UK rental market.

By looking at the current net monthly wage in each area of the UK, and what percentage of salary was required to rent in the local market, we gained an insight into how the gender pay gap affects rental affordability.

As ideal flatmate co-founder Tom Gatzen notes, “this isn’t simply a case of equal pay but equal opportunity across the board – this really lacks when it comes to rental affordability in particular.”

The rent gap is at its largest in England, at 17.9%: men in England spend 35.5% of their salary on rent on average, whereas women have to use 53.4% of their income.

In Wales, the gap is smallest but still not insignificant. Women spend 35.3% of their salary on rent, while men spend 25.4% – a 9.8% difference.


Across the UK as a whole, the higher average male wage means that in 41% of areas, they’re spending 30% or less of their salary on rent: the recommended amount for an affordable lifestyle.

On the other hand, the average female can afford to pay rent at 30% or less of their salary in just 0.3% of UK areas. This is an astonishing difference.

At the other end of the rental affordability scale, just 0.3% of the UK rental market would see men living there pay 70% or more of their salary on rent, while for women, a huge 10% of areas in the UK would require them to pay 70% or more of their salary on rent.

Looking at the areas themselves, the gap is demonstrated further. Based on the average wage in the area, East Renfewshire is the most affordable area for men with 17.1% of salary spent on rent each month. For women, however, the most affordable rental market (Rhondda Cynon Taf) would require them to spend 29.7% of their salary on rent.

Tom Gatzen said of the disparity: “Tackling the UK rental market is tough enough as it is without the immediate setback of a 14% reduction in your rental potential due to a lower wage.”

“As a result of this inferior financial foundation, female workers are forced to either pay far more in rent or be priced out of the market altogether, resulting in a wider search, a longer commute, and a lower quality of life.”