London Tenants Pay More Than 50% Income In Rent

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter have revealed the areas of London where tenants are paying more than 50% of their income in rent.

In 23 of London’s 32 boroughs, private rents account for more than 50% of family incomes, while the overall median for the capital is 59% of income. Westminster tops the list of the most unaffordable boroughs, where the average rent is an eye-watering 91.4% of family income. Kensington & Chelsea come a close second at 90.7%. How does your borough perform? See the table below.

With rises in rent far outstripping pay increases, London has also become an eviction hotspot — where the risk of being booted out by your landlord is more than double that of the national average. In case you were wondering, Barking & Dagenham, Newham, Haringey, Hackney and Southwark are the top five on that particular list.

It’s not just the high rents irking the capital’s tenants, it’s a perceived poor value for money. 49% say they feel they don’t get what they’re paying for while 33% fear being evicted. Last December, protesters gathered outside City Hall to demonstrate against high rents and letting agents’ fees — another Shelter report last September highlighted excessive admin fees and double-charging for landlords and tenants by some agencies. It seems that few boroughs are attempting to clamp down on rogue landlords — Newham recently implemented a compulsory registration scheme — but housing groups say this doesn’t go far enough.

London mayor Boris Johnson has launched a public consultation asking the capital’s residents to tell him how to improve the rental market. Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said:

“The news that renting in the capital is unaffordable isn’t a surprise to the families across London who are stuck in the rent trap, unable to save anything towards a home of their own because they’re paying out so much each month in rent.

“Rising rents, the constant threat of eviction, and hidden fees are all par for the course in London’s frantic rental market.

“With a quarter of Londoners now renting their homes, it’s vital that they take this opportunity to make their voices heard. Boris Johnson has shown he’s listening to what renters have to say. This is our chance to re-design renting for a city which deserves a better deal.”

Photo by Matthew Gidley in the Londonist Flickr pool.

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  • http://twitter.com/bensoutham Ben Southam

    Some of those figures are embarrassingly high.

  • Screwed

    How do we have any hope of changing this when the only parties that stand a chance to be elected are the far right or the not so far right.

  • Kay

    The City of London “Corporation” doesn’t even feature, go figure! Honestly, London is going through super-corporate-gentrification of the phenomenally ludicrous sorts and neither the politicians nor the average people care. Londoners are being priced out of their own city, while high paying overseas affluent city workers and the likes take their place. You look around London and you just can’t find many proper Londoners anymore, and no I’m not talking about the cosmopolitan use of the term where we are “all Londoners”, I’m talking about the residents of inner and central London who have been pushed out down the years. Look at whose replaced them (by priority):

    1- Corporations: By far the worst offending culprit and one that always gets the easy end of the stick. Just walk most streets of central London at look inside any building, you will most probably see a guy in some office looking at some computer screen. Thirty years ago it would have been someone’s living room… And with this came those crazy rent hikes, landlords can now charge higher rents which corporations can easily afford while normal people constantly were pushed out. This will explain why the Westminster number is so bloody high!

    2- Rich city folks. These range in nationality from Americans to Chinese, they are highly educated, highly paid workers in central London who live in and around central London. Over the past decade and a half or so, this was the breed of people who slowly started taking over inner London. Boroughs who suffered the hardest are the ones closest to the city (e.g. Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Islington, etc). These guys came on board and gentrified entire boroughs in a very short span of years creating extreme social tensions and a massive housing problem. In Hackney super rich gated communities live side by side with overstretched working class families in council estates. Trouble was bound to brew, and hence the London riots.

    3- Immigrants: Yes, I’ll say it and I won’t be PC about it. These come in different forms, but the council and hosing policies of successive governments down the years meant that certain parts of the capital were taken over by certain groups and nationalities, and in quite large numbers. Locals were driven out. Good examples of that can be see all over the East End, particularly in places like Mile End, Stepney, etc.

    4- Overseas Students: These are the ones already willing to pay the incredibly overpriced fees that unis charge for overseas students. And they end up living in places like King’s Cross, Euston, etc, and also in large numbers. Property developers would rather target these groups as they are medium term and can generate massive ROI. Again at the expense of locals.

    The list can go on, but you start seeing a pattern. None of the above groups are to blame directly for this, far from it, these only exist because of a failure on the parts of successive governments to properly address the issue. 15% of people in the UK reside in London (according to the last census). Percentage wise compared to the states, that means that the ratio people in London to those of the UK is the same as that of the top 40 US cities combined to the total US population. But no one is properly addressing these issues. This can’t be good news….