Unchecked Private Rents in London Could Reach £2,700 pcm in 2024, warns Mayor

August 3, 2023

New analysis by City Hall reveals that if left unchecked, private rents in London could surge to over £2,700 per month in 2024. Consequently, Mayor Sadiq Khan is renewing his long-standing plea to the government to protect London’s 2.7 million renters by implementing a two-year rent freeze amidst the intensifying housing crisis.

The Mayor has repeatedly expressed concerns over the impact of unaffordable private rents and spiralling cost of living on Londoners, recently warning Ministers of a potential wave of repossessions. In light of record-high rents symptomatic of the housing crisis, Khan is urging the government to overhaul London’s broken housing system and deliver a substantial funding commitment for more affordable housing.

Current inertia in government action poses a significant risk to Londoners’ financial stability. City Hall figures suggest that unchecked private rents could escalate from the current average of £2,567 to over £2,700 per month next year. The high cost of living is already pushing nearly half of children in private rented homes into poverty. The proposed two-year rent freeze could save renters an average of £3,374, a figure £386 more than the savings estimated in March 2022.

London renters, already grappling with escalating rents, insecure tenancies, and unsafe homes, are yet to see concrete government action on their behalf. Mayor Khan continues to lobby for an annual £4.9 billion investment to construct the desperately needed affordable housing and freeze rents to provide immediate relief to Londoners.

Khan’s meeting with Londoner Alexandra, who faces eviction following soaring rents and housing insecurity, highlights the common struggle for many in the capital. While Khan cannot currently control private rents, his tenure has seen record levels of new housing in London, with the construction of the most council homes since the 1970s, and surpassing the target of building 116,000 new genuinely affordable homes. Despite this progress, addressing the long-standing housing crisis requires substantial efforts to support renters as supply-demand parity remains distant.

Khan emphasises, “These figures reveal the clearest picture yet of why rent controls are so necessary… Londoners re-elected me on a manifesto pledge to push for the powers to control rents and I will not stop advocating for this lifeline on their behalf.”

Supporting the Mayor’s call, Ben Twomey, Chief Executive of Generation Rent, highlights that spiralling rents are forcing families into poverty and out of homes. He advocates for both rent controls and an increase in the supply of social and affordable homes to address the issue.

Without swift action, Londoners face an impending rental crisis that could result in increased poverty rates and the exodus of essential workers from the city, reshaping the very fabric of London’s communities.