There’s no doubt about it, London rent has reached peak absurdity.
Millennials have been nicknamed ‘generation rent’, because of the unlikeliness that they will ever be able to afford to make it onto the housing ladder. And yet, they are continually fleeced by money-grabbing letting agents, unjustified admin fees and poor living conditions.
Following months of politicians promising to introduce rent caps, be vigilant against rogue landlords and eliminate sky-high agency fees, it looks like Londoners are taking things into their own hands.
Latest figures reveal that the average rent for a London flat is £1676 – which, at £55/night, is more expensive than living in most 4-star hotels in Europe. It’s a figure that’s risen 2.6% in the last year, alone and, as a result, Lononders are estimated to be spending an average of 60% of their salaries on rent – into paying someone else’s mortgage.
Taking to social media to tell their stories, people have adopted the hashtag #VentYourRent.
Some have simply tweeted, while others have posted Instagram pics of themselves holding up signs that describe the high prices they are having to pay for squalid conditions – from enduring rats and cockroaches, to leaks and nauseating smells.
The trend was started by the campaign group, Generation Rent, which champions the rights of renters – to expose how dire London’s market really is. The group has been uploading the images to their Tumblr page.
Some describe the critters and unexpected housemates they’ve had to endure in their accommodation…
Others expose the maltreatment they’ve undergone at the hands of their landlords…
And others have exposed exactly what they're paying for...
Generation Rent are urging Londoners to continue posting their stories in order to pressurise the government to take action, ahead of London’s Mayoral elections.
Dan Wilson Craw, Policy and Communications Manager of Generation Rent, tells The Evening Standard:
“The candidates for Mayor describe London as the greatest city on Earth, but as long as growing numbers of people are paying huge sums to live in squalor, they'll have a lot of work to do to make that a reality.”
According to the Association of Residential Lettings Agents, by the time most people in England manage to put a foot on the ladder, they will have spent an average of £52,900 on rent.