Seven ridiculous London rents that show why we need to fix renting

Seven ridiculous London rents that show why we need to fix renting

Struggling to find a reasonable place to rent in London? You’re not the only one. London renting is broken. For too many of us it is unaffordable, unstable and unsafe.

One in four people living in London are private renters – I’m one of them – and we deserve a better deal. Some renters have already reached breaking point, and decided they’ve no option but to leave London. Yet for many of us that simply isn’t an option. Instead we’re left to sift through the very worst the rental market has to throw at us.

Seven ridiculous London rents that show why we need to fix renting.

1. Spacious flat ‘with kitchenette and own shower’.

Small flat in Chiswick with shower next to kitchen units

Come on, we’ve all been there. Trapped in that terrible quandary; you need to shower, but you also need to keep checking to make sure that pan doesn’t boil over. Well worry no more, thanks to this Chiswick flat that boasts it all – double-bed, pine furniture, kitchenette and own shower – and all within arms reach of each other.

Still, at least it offered a bit more room than this similar studio in Earl’s Court that came complete with the perfect shower… assuming you’re Ronnie Corbett.

2. Single bed for rent in Kingston-upon-Thames

Single bed placed in a shared kitchen, for rent in Kingtson

Yes, that is a single bed. And yes, it is in a kitchen. A shared kitchen. Still, you get a cupboard, so you know, every cloud.

3. Great room share in Tower Bridge

Bunk bed in a shared room to rent in Tower Bridge

When you’re six years old a bunk bed is a sign you’re living the dream. Not so much, when you’re 26. And the ad doesn’t even specify whether you get to be on top or not.

4. Flat share in Mornington Crescent for £100pw

Three single beds in a room to rent with two other people in Camden

Why share a room with one complete stranger, when you can share with two? Giving you all the awkwardness of youth hostelling, with none of the positive outdoorsy bit. Every. Single. Day.

5. Shed living in Bethnal Green for £480 per month

A shed in a living room, that was available to rent in Bethnal Green

You mean shared living, surely? You’d hope so, but no, no I don’t. With admirable optimism the advert for this ‘room’ sought ‘a laid back happy-go-lucky type that’s sociable, open minded and creative.’

Still, at least at £480 per month, it was £20 cheaper than sleeping in a cupboard in Clapham.

6. ‘Large furnished room with own kitchen’ in Kilburn

Room to rent with its own kitchen in Kilburn

There’s the kitchen look, there, handily placed on that trolley so you can wheel it round the room with you. Novel. This apparently ‘modern-furnished room’ could be yours for just £130pw.

7. ‘Studio’ flat snapped up in hours

A bed in a kitchen, offered as a studio flat, in London

How do you convert a kitchen into a studio apartment? Easy, plonk a double bed in it. However, it’s not the absurd sleeping arrangement of this flat that shows how broken London’s renting is.

No, instead that is told through the interest it received. ‘Twenty emails, and a larger number of phone calls,’ before it was ‘snapped up in 16 hours’. For a huge number of people, this flat represented a great deal, an opportunity not to be missed, or as good as they could hope to get in this city.

For too many of us, this is what London renting has become. Professionals sharing rooms, and even beds, with complete strangers. Taking a shower within reach of your fridge. Sheds and cupboards presented as viable options. Falling over each other for the opportunity to sleep between the hob and the backdoor

This is a great city, but we shouldn’t have to put up with this to live here.

The new London Mayor needs to fix renting.

Please, join our campaign demanding that they do.


  1. In France the landlord can’t kick you out in the winter months in Berlin you can’t leave property empty if there are homeless people in the borough. In the UK; sorry the landlord must keep up the mortgage payments.

  2. “Seven ridiculous London rents that show why we need to fix renting.”

    Thank you Shelter. You judge all landlords based on the above properties?

    Each one of these properties is breaking housing law.

    Every sector will have its rotten apples.

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