Majority of London renters spend over half of salary on rent

Most single tenants renting privately in London are now paying more than half of their monthly salary on average to rent a one-bedroom property.

Research undertaken by the property website which analysed the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that the average rent for a one-bedroom property in London is now almost £1,330 per month.

Percentage of salary spent on rent by London borough
Percentage of salary spent on rent by London borough

Despite having the highest costs of any housing type, the private rented sector has the worst property standards. In February 2016, it was reported that 60% of London renters are forced to live in unacceptable conditions. Private renters are also one of the most deprived groups with almost 25% of households at risk of fuel poverty.

ONS data revealed that single tenants in 25 of London’s 32 boroughs are spending more than half of their monthly salary – after income and council tax deductions – on rent for a one-bedroom property.

Unsurprisingly, housing affordability is worst in prime areas of the capital, with those renting a one-bedroom property in Kensington and Chelsea paying  the equivalent of 85% of the average London monthly salary on rent.

The cheapest accommodation for single tenants was in the boroughs of Bromleywell and Havering with the average rental cost for a one-bedroom home coming in at 42% of monthly salary.

Robby Du Toit, managing director of Sell House Fast commented: “As demand has consistently exceeded supply over the last few years, Londoners have unfortunately been caught up in a very competitive property market where prices haven’t always reflected fair value. This notion is demonstrated through this research whereby private rental prices in London are certainly overstretching single tenants; to the extent they must sacrifice over half their monthly salary.

“For those single tenants with ambitions to climb up the property ladder – their intentions are painfully jeopardised, as they can’t set aside a sufficient amount each month to save up for a deposit or explore better alternatives. It’s not only distressing for them but worrying for the property market as a whole – where the ‘generation rent’ notion is truly continuing too spiral further.”

Share this article

Landlord investigated for banning “colored people” because they smell of curry says insurance needed to deal with curry smell in rented homes

Fergus Wilson and his wife Judith CREDIT: REX FEATURES
Fergus Wilson and his wife Judith CREDIT: REX FEATURES

One of Britain’s biggest landlords, Fergus Wilson,  under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for banning “colored people” whom he claims leave his properties “smelling of curry” is in the news once again.

Wilson has suggested a specialist insurance company should be set up to deal with cases where tenants leave homes smelling of curry. The property tycoon, who lives in Boughton Kent, is currently facing legal action from a public body after banning Indian and Pakistani tenants from renting his properties because he claimed they left a bad smell.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has recently applied for an injunction at Central London County Court against Wilson over his controversial lettings policy. Mr Wilson who denies accusations of racism, insists his decision is purely economical after spending thousands of pounds removing the smell of curry from one of his properties.

Speaking to Kent News, Wilson has called for an insurance policy to be in place to cover him in such situations in the future. “If someone punches a wall and leaves a dent, you can take a photograph to prove it,” he said.

“How do you prove there is a smell? It’s impossible to prove because they might have got so used to the smell that they don’t notice it.

“The thing is, a curry smell is not malicious damage – we are insured for someone smashing the house up but not for that.

“If they are cooking curry they are not doing it maliciously but they are ‘injuring’ the house. If the EHRC set up their own insurance company to underwrite claims there would be no problem. If that had been in place I would not have made those comments.

“These are all economic judgments. It costs as much for a new carpet as you are achieving in rent for six months.”

Battered wife ban

Wilson is no stranger to controversy. In January this year it emerged that he banned “battered wives” from his properties claiming he does not want to risk ex-husbands or boyfriends returning to destroy his houses.

Also included on the list of proscribed tenants were children under 18, single adults, battered wives, tenants without a rent guarantee, people on housing benefit, low income workers, zero hours workers, plumbers, smokers and pet owners.

Wilson, who at one point owned 1,000 homes in Maidstone and Ashford, was unrepentant when challenged about the latest ban.

“To be honest, we’re getting overloaded with coloured people.”

“It is a problem with certain types of coloured people — those who consume curry — it sticks to the carpet.

In the same year he sent eviction notices to over 200 of his tenants, many from low income backgrounds, claiming that he was “sending battered wives back to their partners to be beaten up again”. He was also convicted in the same year for assaulting an estate agent over a broken boiler which he denied, claiming that he was “too fat to punch anybody or even tie his own shoelaces”.

Wilson admits there was an element of discrimination in his “no-coloreds” policy, but insisted it was legal and fair because car insurance companies impose higher premiums on “high-risk” drivers.

“I live in rural Kent and you do not get an awful lot of people making an application from that ethic group,” he said.

“However, no one, but no one has done more for black tenants in Ashford than I have – I have bent over backwards to help them.”

The Renters Alliance helps renters with bad landlords and letting agents. If you have a story you would like to share, please contact the National Renters Alliance through our website or email us at

Share this article

North East councils prosecute only one landlord following 6,297 private rental complaints

Complaints_boxA campaigning letting agent has discovered that only one landlord has been successfully prosecuted by North East councils following a tenant complaint between 2014 and 2016.

The shocking statistic was discovered by Ajay Jagota, the director of the letting agency KIS using Freedom of Information requests submitted to Tyne and Wear local authorities.
Mr Jagota found that a total of 6,297 complaints about the condition of privately rented properties or the behaviour of landlords were received in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 yet only Sunderland council has brought a successful prosecution against a landlord during the period.

Newcastle recorded the highest number of complaints which rose from 1,007 in 2014 to 1,127 in 2016 – a rise of eight per cent. Sunderland saw claims fall from 509 in 2014 to 2090 last year. Gateshead and North Tyneside both saw complaint numbers fall from 2014 to 2015 but rising again in 2016.

South Tyneside council refused to supply the information, claiming that although it holds the information it would take an officer 18 hours to retrieve it, what the authority describes as “substantial effort and disproportionate exercise of trawling”.

“To put these figures into context, every day in every local authority in Tyne and Wear at least one person complains about the condition of their rented home– yet only one rogue landlord has been convicted in three years” says Jagota, who is also founder of deposit replacement insurance product Dlighted.

“A large amount of these complaints will of course be vexatious, unreasonable or more effectively resolved informally, but nonetheless no-one can look at these figures and say the system works” he says.

“With a General Election under way, all the main political parties are making a pitch to voters who rent but despite my own affiliations I have a sense that the proposed policies are just tinkering around the edges when more profound reform is needed.

“It’s critical for all good operators in the private rented sector that the rogues are brought to task and the only way that can happen is that the local authority execute the powers invested in them and ensure they take action when complaints are made.”

The Renters Alliance helps renters with bad landlords and letting agents. If you have a story you would like to share, please contact the National Renters Alliance through our website or email us at

Share this article