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High rents force more tenants to share homes

Posted on 2011-11-10

Data from the October HomeLet Rental Index shows that the average number of tenants living in one property has increased from 1.5 in October 2009 to 2 in October 2011, suggesting that people are increasingly unable to afford renting in the capital on their own.

Since 2009 rents in Greater London have risen by a dramatic 23% and currently stand at £1,158pcm. On average tenants in London are now paying £775pcm for their share of the rent, this is a rise of 13% when compared with October 2009. Despite the increase in rents average tenant incomes in the capital, over the same period of time, have only risen by 6%.

Tom Woodhead, a graduate who lives in a shared rented property in London with four other tenants, said: “When I graduated, I naturally assumed I would be able to move out of my shared student house into my own home – whether bought or rented. The option of buying my own home has certainly been ruled out for the imminent future because deposits are too expensive.

“With soaring rental costs, realistically renting on my own is also not an option. Living costs are just too expensive, especially when you include other bills. So realistically I have no option but to live in a house with four others and share the rent.

“This isn’t an ideal situation, and certainly not my first choice – but, sharing a rented home does mean I’m close to work and close to the centre of London. I am aware that there are many people in the same situation as me, and so I only hope that prices become more affordable to allow people, such as myself, to actually afford the luxury of living in my own home.”

John Boyle, Managing Director of HomeLet, said: “More tenants in the capital and many other parts of the UK are looking to share a property rather than live on their own – however, for the many it’s not through choice but necessity. With average rents rising at a much higher rate than average incomes, budgets are really being stretched. 

“If rental amounts inflate next year as they have done through 2011, rents in London could become unaffordable for an increasing number of people.”   

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