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Let us talk about rents!

May 18, 2012

You may have read the report on BBC News today ( that private rents in England and Wales rose by 0.5% in April, according to letting agency group LSL Property Services and that pushed the average rent up to £709 a month. The report also said that despite several monthly dips in 2012, rents are still rising at a faster rate than wages annually.

It is a scandal that private rented sector rents are subject to casino market forces, i.e. if demand is greater than supply landlords can exploit the situation and charge higher rents which bear no relation to a reasonable return on an investment. We urgently need statutory rent regulation, whatever the complex formula used to calculate rents one factor must be affordability linked to median income? Other European countries like Germany have a large private rented sector and greater regulation than the UK so the  arguement that greater regulation would reduce the size of the private rented sector does not hold water.

Shelter has said that: “Families now need to earn a combined salary of £52,000 a year to be able to rent a two-bedroom home affordability in London”.

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