Rent Eating Up More Than Half Of Families` Incomes, Warns Shelter

Date Published 11 January 2013

Up to 59% of a household’s income in London is spent on rent, Shelter has said.

The charity, which has asked mayor Boris Johnson to intervene, said that private rents ‘eat up’ more than 50% of a family’s monthly earnings in 23 out of the capital’s 33 boroughs, leaving them unable to save for a home of their own.

Shelter said the ‘rent trap’ in the private sector leaves families unable to save towards buying a home and urged London’s mayor to intervene.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, 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 are paying out so much each month in rent.

`But the fact that rental costs in most areas of London are eating up more than half of family incomes should stop us in our tracks.

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

Johnson said: `I think it’s very important that we expand the supply available.

`What I think is less persuasive is the case for some sort of legislation about renting and prices. The difficulty with that, we think, is it would tend to drive them (landlords) out of the market.`

Johnson is currently consulting on a new voluntary initiative for London’s private rented sector.