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Can You Afford To Rent In London Anymore?

As rent prices rise in London there is the fear that people are being priced out of the capital city.

While some politicians have argued that people on benefits should not have larger properties in the city it has been argued that this means people will find it more difficult to be able to afford to live and work in the city. Whatever the reasons people are finding it more challenging to live in the capital city, meaning that it is more important than ever for people to get the right advice and the help they need to stay in the city.

Why it’s harder

Recent studies have shown that on average rental prices have risen by 5 per cent each year in London. The price rises vary depend on the local area with rents in Shepard’s Bush generally being around £300 per week while areas like South Kensington can be as much as £700 per week.

Price comparison

According to recent statistics rent in London has risen twice as fast as other part of the United Kingdom. This is why a lot of people prefer to rent slightly outside of London (for example Chichester in the Southwest is a 40 minute train ride from the capital and is considerably less expensive than living in the capital.)

Check the prices

One problem with renting in London is that the prices are often quoted as per week as opposed to per month so this should be considered when reading adverts and budgeting. Another thing to remember is council tax as this will inevitably eat away at your budget (according to figures from 2011 these are the cheapest areas)-

  • Wandsworth, £663
  • Westminster, £776
  • Newham, £959
  • City of London, £961
  • Southwark, £991
  • Barking, £1,011
  • Hackney, £1,015

    rent increases

It is possible to negotiate?

There are fees that can be negotiated such as the cost of removing furniture, the rental price and so on. However while it is possible to negotiate be careful as you may miss out on your ideal property if you drive too hard for a bargain!

If possible try to find a property where you can deal direct with a landlord as this will usually be cheaper than going through an agency, cutting out a lot of additional fees that they may charge (although the downside of this is that if you have problems it is often easier to get it sorted out with a lettings agency.)

Friends and Flatshares

Finding a place on your own may be difficult so it is worth considering finding a friend to move in with you to split the costs. If you are moving to London on your own you should also consider looking out for flatshares. While there is the risk that you may not get on with the people you move in with there is also the chance to meet more people.

Alternative to “traditional” renting

One problem with these increased prices is that people find it harder to rent. The other side of this is that landlords have more vacant properties and this increases the risk of squatters breaking in.

An alternative to this is what is known as “legal squatting.” This is where you allow people to stay in a house, effectively housesitting while a landlord looks for more permanent tenants.

The downside of this is that it is very short term and you may be required to leave a property in as little as two weeks so this is ideal if you have only recently moved to London or you need somewhere while getting more money for a more permanent solution.

Another alternative is an HMO (House in Multiple Location, may also be referred to as HIMO). They have shared facilities and are best for people looking for more affordable accommodation.

Shopping around

In short while rents in the capital city are increasing there are alternatives that are more affordable. This is why it is vital to look for the right advice to find the ideal option for your


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