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’.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.