Private rented sector
London’s private rented sector is growing rapidly. This is not surprising when social housing is in decline, and buying a house is still out of reach for many ordinary Londoners.
While private renting is a satisfactory solution for many people, we are concerned with the state of the sector. Homes are often unaffordable and of a poor quality. The “typical” private renters are no longer young professionals or people in transition, but low and middle-income families who have no other type of housing tenure available to them.
Nearly half (48%) of London private tenants would rather not be renting, and one in five is not happy with their accommodation. It is concerning that the end of a private sector tenancy is now London's leading cause of homelessness. Local authorities are also increasingly housing homeless families and vulnerable people in private-sector 'temporary accommodation', often for long periods of time.
Private renting must be regulated properly and made into a viable long-term housing option for households who are struggling. Most private landlords want to ‘do the right thing’ by their tenants, but they often lack the government-led support and guidance necessary to make this easy. We also need to build more social housing to reduce the numbers becoming homeless.
The Trust is keen to improve the experience of private rented accommodation for Londoners on low incomes. We have funded a number of organisations active in the sector to improve regulation, strengthen enforcement, and ensure people can access their rights. Our funding has gone towards:
- Campaigning organisations like Generation Rent and PEACH;
- Legal advice, for example through Advice4Renters, Youth Legal and Enfield Citizens Advice;
- Research to shed light on and recommend how to improve the sector by Cambridge House, Future of London and Julie Rugg and David Rhodes of the University of York.
We seek to contribute to policy discussions, and participate in relevant forums at the Greater London Authority and with other groups. We have also made mission-related investments to Real Lettings and Commonweal Housing’s Peer Landlord model.
If you are an organisation which works on these issues, and are interested in applying for funding, visit our funding page for guidance.
And to see more data about housing in London, look at our London’s Poverty Profile.