The Mayor of London has urged the Government to freeze rents for two years after new data showed a huge increase in rental prices.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan shared new findings from the SpareRoom Rental Index on Twitter showing that rental prices have risen hugely in recent years, especially in suburban districts where room rents are now almost 20% higher than 2019.
Khan asked the Government to allow him to freeze rents for two years, saying this move would help Londoners to save £2,988.
He said: “This is a disgrace. Rents are soaring while landlords profit.”
It was not the first time that Khan asked for private rent controls.
The campaign for his re-election in 2019 was primarily focused on tackling the housing crisis and he renewed his call in March, but nothing has changed as rental prices have continued to rise.
The index demonstrated that the average cost of renting a room in London was 15% higher in April-June this year than last year, with an average monthly room rent of £815.
Miranda, 27, just moved into a new flat in north west London with her partner, after being told that their landlord of two years wanted to sell the place.
Their new flat costs almost 30% more and, because of the high demand, they had to offer above the asking price to secure it.
The rising cost of rents affected the choice of the flat and, since they couldn’t compromise on some needs such as good connections to the city for work, they ended up far away from family and friends and in a slightly less-nice neighbourhood.
Miranda’s main concern at the moment is the rise in energy bills, since her new energy provider said that prices could change month-to-month.
She said: “We’re fortunate that rising costs won’t mean we have to choose between eating and heating but it will mean we can’t save money like we were hoping to in order to eventually get on the property ladder – which is seeming more and more like a pipe dream.”
Since 2019, room rents have gone up in some of the cheapest areas such as Eltham and Mottingham or Lower Edmonton, where rents have increased by 19.8% and 18.7% respectively, and Abbey Wood, up by 16.2% while still remaining the most affordable area to rent a room in London.
The only postcode to see a price drop was Hanwell, in the borough of Ealing, which saw a drop of 2%.
The index also highlighted that, among the UK’s 50 largest towns and cities, London experienced the largest increase in demand and decrease in supply.