How many private renters are there in Bexley?
In 2015 the Office for National Statistics found that there were 22,000 private renters in the borough. However, since then, the number has increased as people have moved out to the leafy suburbs from central London.
How come they don’t just buy a house?
In Bexley, the average house price is nearly 10 times the average yearly income. Also, many traditional family houses in the borough are being bought by private landlords and divided into flats or Houses in Multiple Occupation, further decreasing the supply of family homes available.
Are there any council houses available in Bexley?
As everywhere else in Greater London, there is a major shortage of social housing in Bexley. Currently, there are over 5,000 people on the waiting list for a council home.
So if people in Bexley are stuck in the private rented sector, what’s it going to cost?
Monthly median average rents for Bexley, recorded by the Valuation Office Agency, are:
Room in a shared house: £460
Studio flat: £600
One bedroom flat: £750
Two bedroom flat: £1,000
Three bedroom flat: £1,250
House with four or more bedrooms: £1,550
Remember, these figures don’t include fuel bills or council tax; that’s just the rent!
That is a lot. I guess that means a lot of private renters have to claim housing benefit to stay alive?
Yes – 5,609 people in Bexley need 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 renting from a private landlord, renting from a housing association or from the council. The monthly LHA in Bexley is:
Shared Accommodation Rate: £365.17
One Bedroom Rate: £697.76
Two Bedrooms Rate: £858.48
Three Bedrooms Rate: £1,049.53
Four Bedrooms Rate: £1,355.33
Can I talk to someone at the council about problems with my private landlord?
If you have any dispute or issues with your landlord, the council’s Private Sector Housing team should be able to help you. The Private Sector Housing team mostly deals with conditions in your home. They will inspect properties to assess potential risks to health and safety, and where necessary, enforce landlords’ responsibilities to make repairs/improvements.
Are there any Tenancy Relations Officers (TROs)?
Not exactly, but Bexley Council does employ people who to liaise between landlords and tenants. Email the team or call 020 8303 7777 and use the 8862 extension number
Do private landlords in Bexley have to get a licence?
Licensing of larger Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) has been compulsory in England and Wales since 2006. Councils also have the option to introduce extensions to landlord licensing.
Bexley Council has announced plans for an additional licensing scheme, to cover all HMOs around the borough. Bexley also plans to introduce selective licensing of privately rented accommodation in SE28 and in DA8. If you’d like to know more about these plans, click here
Does Bexley council run a non-profit letting agency for private renters?
Bexley Council runs various private renting schemes, but these aren’t easily accessible to people who are not also eligible for council housing.
Does Bexley council have a Private Rented Sector (PRS) forum, where private renters can discuss ways to make private renting better?
There is a Landlord forum, but we are still waiting to hear from the council on whether or not tenants can attend.
How many criminal landlords has the council prosecuted in the last three years?
Bexley Council has made just one prosecution against a criminal landlord in the last three years and none in the three years before that.
Who else should I talk to about making private renting fairer in Bexley?
For specific problems, Bexley council recommends that you speak to a Councillor in your ward. You can find details for your representatives and their contact details here
In addition, Councillor Brad Smith is responsible for private tenants as part of his job as Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services. You can contact him via email