Lambeth private rents among most unaffordable

to let sign

Private rents in Lambeth are among the most unaffordable in London for single renters, the campaign group Generation Rent shows today (29 April).

But renting your own home is unaffordable in every London borough, analysis by the group giving a voice to private renters shows.

Its campaign is taking to the streets today in the run-up to next week’s London elections to highlight the impossibility of tenants making ends meet, including its manifesto for renters.

A Londoner on median earnings would pay 45% of their income on rent if they lived in the median London one-bedroom home.

The maximum rent-to-income ratio considered affordable is 30%.

In Lambeth, this figure is 49% – the tenth highest among the 32 greater London boroughs and the City of London.

The situation is worse for women. The median one-bed home costs 54% of the median salary for women in London, compared with 39% of the median salary for men – a difference of 15 percentage points.

In Lambeth, these figures are 59% for women and 41% for men – an 18 percentage point difference.

The most affordable borough is Bexley in South East London, where the median earner would spend 31% of their income on the median one-bed home – still above 30%.

heat map graphic

The least affordable borough is Westminster at 58% and five boroughs in north and east London cost more than 50% of the median income to rent alone in. Generation Rent has produced a map which shows the scale of the problem in each part of the capital.

The gender affordability gap is widest in Barnet and Bromley at 20%, and narrowest in Wandsworth at 5%.

Generation Rent is calling on the next Mayor of London to lead a campaign to demand powers from the government to reduce rents.

Measures would include:

  • Freezing rents within tenancies, to give tenants more certainty
  • A rent control system that aims to reduce rents overall
  • Linking rents to the quality of the home, to maintain standards
  • Tough penalties for landlords who break the rules, overseen by a city-wide Rent Control Board.

Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, said: “Paying more than 30% of your income on your housing leaves little left to enjoy a good quality of life and save for the future.

“Many single Londoners are able to reduce costs by sharing a house with others, but this gets less tenable as you get older.

“Everyone should be able to rent their own space but this is just impossible for many, particularly women.

“Londoners urgently need bold action from the winner next week to make renting more affordable.

“Investment in housebuilding is needed to make renting more affordable long-term, but rent controls would offer immediate protection and relief.”

Generation Rent has created an interactive table with full data for London.