Rental Survey Shows Dissatisfaction
9/10 renters have had four or more serious problems
London Assembly Member Sian Berry has launched a report “What are London renters thinking?”, based on the results of her recent Big Renters Survey of London’s private tenants.
The suvey finds that almost no-one escapes unscathed from London’s private renting market in south-west London.
The report lays bare the scale of dissatisfaction among London’s renters, over a range of areas including rocketing rent costs, incomplete repairs, lost deposits and fear of losing their homes at the end of each annual contract. It also reveals the appetite for an independent renter’s organisation to investigate bad landlords, provide a voice for renters and campaign for better standards.
Nine out of ten renters had experienced four or more serious problems during their time renting in London.
Across Hounslow, Kingston and Richmond, respondents to the survey said that on average, they spend 44 per cent of their total take-home pay on rent. Forty-two per cent said they had problems with unexpected letting agent fees, compared to a London-wide average of 36 per cent.
Across London, the most common problem with costs and contracts in the past three years was a rent increase they struggled to afford and seven in ten renters suffered from repairs and maintenance not being done.
Significantly, nearly six out of ten renters said they would be prepared to pay a small fee to join a London-wide organisation that helped them in these ways.
Sian said: “As a renter in London for nearly 20 years, it’s important to me that I keep bringing the voices of London’s 2.3 million private renters into City Hall. In this report I’m recommending that the Mayor stands up for London’s private renters and support them in standing up for themselves.
“The willingness of renters to pay a small fee to join a renters’ organisation is very significant, as it means such a group could become self-sustaining once it has been set up. The Mayor should look seriously at providing practical help such as office space and seed funding to help found an independent London-wide organisation to represent renters in our city.”
Among other recommendations, Sian’s report suggests more support at the London-wide level for renters, including a central information source with links to existing renter’s groups and council schemes. In addition to this, Sian calls for continued pressure from the Mayor to push the government to devolve more powers over housing to London.
Sixty-eight per cent of the 1,530 renters who filled in the survey also wrote in additional information, telling Sian about their experiences in London.
October 13, 2016