With the economy showing small signs of recovery, rent and house prices are starting to rise. This growth in the market may not necessarily be a good thing for some tenants in London.
A recent report from The Guardian suggests that some landlords in the capital are taking advantage of the economic upturn by providing small properties for a growing number of tenants. The findings indicate that some former family homes are being cut down into tiny studio flats and in some cases, even smaller rooms.
Labour’s housing spokesman on the London Assembly, Tom Copley, had a frank response to the report statistics. Mr Copley said that the findings suggested a growing number of tenants were paying, ‘extortionate rents’ for substandard, ‘rabbit hutch’ properties.
Copley also indicated that the lack of adequate housing could have a deeper effect on peoples’ overall wellbeing. Home, he said, has an, ‘enormous’ impact quality of life, stating that tenants should expect at least a, ‘decent place to live for reasonable rent.’
London tenants trapped in rabbit hutches
A growing problem
Taking a browse at rental property websites offering rooms in the London area highlights the growing problem. Showers in the kitchen, cookers on top of chest of drawers and properties where sitting up in bed is a pipe-dream are common. Roger Harding, director at Shelter, said that the, ‘tough competition’ in the capital lead tenants to be squashed into, ‘costly, cramped and claustrophobic’ homes.
Certain London councils have already agreed to alter rules to combat rogue landlords exploiting their tenants.
For more information on the legal house sizing specifications, see The Housing Act of 1985.