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Rents stay frozen everywhere but in London

The average rent in England last year was £714 – but in London it was £1,369.

The median rent in London, at £1,196 per month, was more than double the national median rent at £575 per month.

The figures, from the National Valuation Office, show that national median rents did not change, but rose 9% in London.

The news prompted London Assembly member Darren Johnson to renew his call for Mayor Boris Johnson to impose rent controls in the city.

Darren Johnson, a member of the Green Party, said: “The Mayor has ruled out any meaningful reform to slow rent rises, preferring voluntary measures. We give our tenants some of the weakest protections in Europe; we should copy the smart rent controls and security enjoyed by tenants in countries like France and Germany where rent can’t rise faster than inflation, guaranteeing fairness and predictability for tenants and landlords.â?¨

“We cannot go on pricing low paid workers out of swathes of London. It’s hurting our economy and pricing out a generation of renters.”

Meanwhile, a survey of its members by the Residential Landlords Association found that most will be freezing their rents this year.

Just over half (56%) of the 600 landlords who responded said they would not be raising their rents, while 31% said they would be, leaving the rest undecided.

Richard Jones, RLA policy director, said: “The RLA’s survey, together with the English Housing Survey, burst the popular myth that landlords are raising rents sky high.

“Whilst it is true that rents in London as a result of serious supply problems remain stubbornly high, policy makers should avoid thinking that what happens in the capital reflects the rest of the country.

“At a time when tenants are facing squeezes on their costs of living, especially falling wages, landlords are responding by accepting real-terms cuts to rents. This as rents in the heavily subsidised social sector continue to rise way above inflation.”

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