Brent is the third least affordable place to rent in the country
- Credit: Archant
Brent has become one of the least affordable places to rent in the country with tenants handing over 65 per cent of their salary for an average priced private flat, according to new analysis.
A report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) put the borough third after Newham and Westminster which is the least affordable place to live with more than 78 per cent of salaries going on rent.
The average annual salary for a resident in the borough is £31,000, according to data released by Brent Council last year.
Jacky Peacock, director of Advice4Renters based in Willesden Lane, Willesden, which gives support and legal advice to private tenants, said the figure was probably higher than that average.
She said: “It’s completely crazy. Alot of people will be finding even more than that out of their take home pay, increasingly people on really low incomes in low paid work relying on housing benefit.
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“Their rents are now above the cap for that benefit and they have to find a big amount of their rent just out of the money they are meant to spend on eating and generally surviving.”
She added: “It’s creating a huge amount of hardship for people. People in their 20’s who might not be so poor ought to be able to pay their rent and go out with their friends a few times but they have to cut back on going to the theatre or out for a meal. It’s having a really substantial impact across the whole private rented sector apart from the very rich.
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“We are deeply concerned about it. The government want to reduce the housing benefit bill they should be capping the actual rent, not the benefit. We hope with these latest figures they will start to listen now.
Brandon Lewis, Conservative Party Housing Minister, said: “We’re determined to create a bigger, better private rented sector that meets the needs of tenants and landlords alike.
“That’s why we’re attracting billions of pounds of investment in the market to build homes specifically for private rent, and have introduced a range of measures to ensure tenants know their rights and responsibilities.
“But we also want to ensure anyone who works hard and wants to own their own home has the opportunity to do so, which is why we’ve introduced schemes like Help to Buy so people can buy with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require.”
Last month figures released by totallymoney.com showed that a resident in Brent earning the minimum wage would have to work for 23 hours a day to be able to rent a one-bed flat in parts of the borough.