How many private renters are there in Barnet?
The 2011 Census found 94,026 private renters in the borough – that’s just over 25 per cent of the total population. The current figure is probably higher, considering how much the housing has deepened since then. So there should be enough private renters to campaign with!
If renting is so bad, why don’t private renters just buy a house?
Because in Barnet, the average home costs 14.05 times the average income.
Why can’t they get a council house then?
Because there are currently 3,213 households waiting for a council house in the borough.
Looks like we’re stuck in the private rented sector then. What’s it going to cost?
Monthly average rents for Barnet, recorded by the Valuation Office Agency, are below. Remember, these figures don’t include fuel or council tax bills:
Room in a shared house: £628
Studio flat: £862
One bedroom flat: £1,101
Two-bedroom flat: £1,400
Three-bedroom flat: £1,800
House with four or more bedrooms: £2,925
That’s a lot. I guess that means a lot of private renters have to claim housing benefit to stay alive then?
Yes – 16,490 private renters in Barnet claim housing benefit to help cover their rent.
And does housing benefit cover it?
No. The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the maximum amount of housing benefit you can get, regardless of whether you’re a private renter (renting from a private landlord) or a social renter (renting from the council or a housing association). The monthly LHA in Barnet depends on which part of the borough you live in, the rates are:
Room in a shared house: £378.73 or £392.77 or £436.63
One-bedroom flat: £829.31 or £865.28 or £1,129.44
Two-bedroom flat: £1,050.09 or £1,106.47 or £1,310.09
Three-bedroom flat: £1,313 or £1,365.52 or £1,535.99
House with four or more bedrooms: £1,622.40 or £1,684.15 or £1,807.09
Can I talk to the council about problems with my private landlord?
Barnet Council recommends talking to your landlord about problems first, but if this isn’t possible or doesn’t help, they are able to give you advice. To report an issue with your accommodation, email or call 0208 359 7559. If you’re renting in a House in Multiple Occupation (e.g. a house divided into bedsits) you are advised to call 020 8359 5355
Alternatively you can write to the council using this address:
Private Sector Housing Team
Barnet House, 1255 High Road,
Whetstone, London N20 0EJ
Are there any Tenancy Relations Officers?
Do private landlords in Barnet have to get a license?
All councils have to licence Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs). That is, flats or houses which are home to five or more people who aren’t all members of the same family), but it’s up to each council to decide whether to do it for other privately rented homes, too. Barnet council has an Additional Licensing Scheme which applies to the entire area of the borough. You can read the full designations here
Does Barnet council run a non-profit letting agency for private renters?
Yes, the scheme can only help people are homeless or have a homeless application pending, though.
More info coming soon.
How many prosecutions has Barnet Council made against criminal landlords?
Who else should I talk to about making private renting fairer in Barnet?
Every council is divided between Councillors, who are elected politicians, and non-political officers, who are appointed to do a particular job. In Barnet, this person might be useful to talk to: