Conditions in the private rented sector (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
October 23, 2013
Question By: 
Tom Copley
Organisation: 
Labour Group

Question

I was pleased to hear that you are aware of the issue around rent levels in the private rented sector.  It is clearly a very big issue.  I just wanted to raise a point that during the first quarter of 2013 monthly rents in London were almost 12% higher than they were the year before in the private rented sector.  In Wandsworth they went up by over 15%, in Southwark they went up over 12.5% and in Tower Hamlets they went up over 16.5% and these rises do not show any sign of slowing down and they are contributing to the overall cost of living crisis faced by many Londoners.  Shelter [homelessness and housing charity] suggests that families are cutting back on food as a result of increased private rented sector rent.  When do you think that private rented sector inflation will stabilise at a more affordable level?

Answer

Answer for Conditions in the private rented sector (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Conditions in the private rented sector (Supplementary) [2]

It is interesting you should ask that question, Fiona, because I just said, in answer to Tom, that the briefing I have tells me that across all levels in the last year, across all tenants in the last year, rents actually rose by 1.9%, which is less than inflation.  I fully accept that will be scant consolation to many people who have experienced much higher rates of increase.  Clearly the answer is to tackle that problem both by accrediting landlords, which is what we are doing, trying to minimise the bad experiences that Tom’s constituents have been having, but above all by building more homes.  That is the answer.  You will not build more homes if you turn your back on international investment or if you are over-prescriptive in your approach.