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‘Sky high’ rents

Families paying nearly £1000 a month on rent
Ryan Fletcher, Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Britain’s housing crisis turned up a notch in August after rents increased by 2.4 per cent, the highest increase this year.


Families are now dishing out an average of £939 a month to keep a roof over their heads compared to £916 in August last year, according to the HomeLet Rental Index.


Insurance firm HomeLet said rents in London are at their highest since the index was launched in 2009.


London rents increased by 2.5 per cent in August, climbing to an average of £1,609.


It is the first time rents in the housing starved capital have tipped £1,600 a month.


When London is excluded from the figures, the average UK rent is now £776.


Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said, “Sky high rents are leaving hundreds of thousands of families struggling every month – especially in London where the living situation is almost impossible for anyone with an normal sized bank balance.


“The fact that they are still rising, heaping yet more pressure on working people, is an absolute disgrace.”


Rents increased in 11 out of the 12 UK regions, the index showed.


The south west of England had the fastest growth, with an increase of 3.9 per cent compared to the same month last year, while Northern Ireland saw a rise of 3.7 per cent.


The data follows a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in July that found record numbers of people are being evicted from their homes.


Turner said the Tories’ failure to take action had caused the housing crisis.


He said, “The blame for this housing emergency can be laid squarely at the Conservatives’ door. Over the last seven years their policies have left a basic necessity – homes – to a broken market, when what was clearly needed was rent controls and regulations on private landlords.

“Instead of investment in large scale council house building programmes, creating homes and decent work, we got damaging austerity. Rather than improving living standards the Tories decided to follow a course that produced a lost decade of pay.

He added, “A combination of these positive policies would have prevented the housing crisis and they still can – but that will only happen under a Labour government.”



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