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Lettings league table claims London rents up 17% in six years

Figures drawn up for the London region of the GMB union claim that across the capital’s 33 boroughs private rents have risen an average 21.7 per cent in six years.

The data - taken from the Valuation Office and applying to a base standard two bedroom apartment’s median rent - suggests that in 14 of the boroughs the increase has been 30 per cent or more.

The biggest rent rise during the period was in Barking and Dagenham, up over 45 per cent; perhaps surprisingly, Westminster had the smallest percentage rise - up 9.5.

"These high rents are here to stay. So too are younger workers living for longer in private sector rental accommodation. As a direct consequence, employers must be prepared to pay much higher wages to staff to enable them to afford these much higher rents” says Warren Kenny, the GMB’s regional secretary.

"It makes little sense for these workers to spend a full week at work only to pay most of their earnings in rents. They will vote with their feet.  Policy mistakes have made the housing position for lower paid workers worse” he adds.

“Council homes for rents at reasonable levels were aimed at housing the families of workers in the lower pay grades and did it successfully for generations. These were sold off -  but crucially not replaced as a matter of Tory dogma” he alleges. 

He says “dogmatic opposition” to allowing councils to build homes for rent is a luxury the capital cannot afford, nor are plans by property developers and councils which the union says will involve the demolition of over 100 council estates.

"Earlier this year the Office for National Statistics projected London's population growing to nearly 11m by 2040. To make up for the current shortage of homes for rent at reasonable rents and to house this growing population is one of the most pressing challenges facing London” he says.

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