Why the rent in London is so expensive
A house in the heart of the capital costs more to rent than it does to buy, according to the latest figures from the National Housing Federation.
It comes as a government watchdog announced plans to crack down on landlords who rent to people on public assistance.
The NHF released its report, Rent and Rental Market in London, on Tuesday.
The NHF says rents in the capital are currently £1,500 higher than the national average, a gap that has widened since the Brexit vote.
A survey of households across London found that the average rent for a one-bedroom flat is £1.5m, compared to £1m in the south of England.
Rent in London has also gone up by £1 per month, or 8.5 per cent, since March, according the NHF, which says the average increase is higher than in most other parts of the UK.
“This year, landlords are charging tenants on public-funded benefits an average of £1 on top of their rent, and landlords are refusing to let renters on public housing benefit if they rent on a fixed-term lease,” the NHS said.
As the country moves towards a “re-elected government” it’s “important that renters have access to affordable housing and housing opportunities,” it added.
This is because rents in London are the highest in the country, it added, noting that rents have gone up “for the first time in at least 20 years”.
The government’s plans include new measures to restrict landlords who refuse to rent to tenants on benefits, and to introduce measures to crack downs on “inappropriate and discriminatory practices” that have seen landlords “double-dipping” to avoid the rules.
While the housing shortage is a “huge concern”, the NHD says it has no plans to increase the rental cap, which it says “sends a clear message to landlords to abide by the law”.
However, it is proposing to restrict rents to a “reasonable” level for people on social housing benefit.
At the moment, the average monthly rent for private rented accommodation in London for a family of four is £3,746.
It was £3.9 million in February, a 5 per cent increase from January.
London’s rent bubble was fuelled by the Brexit referendum, and its impact on the housing market has been felt by many.
Last year, the NHTF said that “there has been an acceleration of rental increases in the past two years”.
“While it is important to remember that rent increases are driven by factors beyond landlords’ control, they also have a significant impact on households,” it said.
“This can make it more difficult to afford a home.”
According to the NHFS, a significant part of the rent increase is due to “inordinate and discriminatory” rent rises on public benefit, which can lead to landlords refusing to rent out to people who are on benefits.
In addition to the rental bubble, the government’s housing policy has been blamed for an increase in the number of families living in shared accommodation, a trend which has been linked to rising homelessness.
However the NHHF says the Government is “not going back to the days of the 1990s”.
“We will ensure that every family who is living in a shared accommodation has access to quality housing at a fair price,” the organisation said.