How many private renters are there in Hillingdon?
In 2015, the Office for National Statistics found 75,000 private renters in Hillingdon. The current figure is probably higher as private renters are forced to move away from unaffordable central London.
If renting is so bad, why don’t private renters just buy a house?
In Hillingdon, the average home costs 11.70 times the average income so home ownership is out of reach for most people.
Can’t they get a council house?
There are currently some 2, 314 households on the council waiting list in Hillingdon. Most of those will be living in insecure, privately-rented accommodation for now.
Looks like we’re stuck in the private rented sector. What’s it going to cost?
Monthly median average rents in Hillingdon recorded by the Valuation Office Agency :
Room in a shared house: £525
Studio flat: £700
One-bedroom flat: £900
Two-bedroom flat: £1,200
Three-bedroom flat: £1,450
House with four or more bedrooms: £1,850
These figures don’t include fuel bills or council tax: that’s just the rent!
It’s a lot. I guess that means some private renters have to claim housing benefit to live then?
Yes – more than 4,900 private renters in Hillingdon need housing benefit to help meet 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 rent from a private landlord, from a housing association or from the council. In Hillingdon, the monthly LHA depends on where, in the borough, you live :
North West London (e.g. Ruislip)
Shared Accommodation Rate: £490.14
One Bedroom Rate: £997.27
Two Bedrooms Rate: £1246.57
Three Bedrooms Rate: £1545.74
Four Bedrooms Rate: £1844.92
Outer West London (e.g. Hayes, Hillingdon)
Shared Accommodation Rate:£498.64
One Bedroom Rate:£922.48
Two Bedrooms Rate:£1171.78
Three Bedrooms Rate:£1396.16
Four Bedrooms Rate:£1645.50
South West Herts (some areas close to the north border of the borough)
Shared Accommodation Rate: £415.35
One Bedroom Rate: £797.81
Two Bedrooms Rate: £997.27
Three Bedrooms Rate: £1296.45
Four Bedrooms Rate: £1695.33
Can I talk to someone at the council about problems with my private landlord?
Private renters should contact housing advice for advice and options.
They offer help and advice with a range of issues including
- rent arrears
- eviction, including illegal eviction
Depending on your age and circumstances, you might find that Hillingdon Council can do something more to help you. You’ll find details here. There are housing advice surgeries specifically for people with children aged under 5, too. Contrary to the information displayed on Hillingdon Council website, the surgery at Barra Hall has now been cut, but on the second Wednesday of every month, there’s a surgery at South Ruislip Children’s Centre More
Are there any Tenancy Relations Officers (TROs)?
Yes, they’re in the Private Sector Housing Team
Do private landlords in Hillingdon have to get a licence?
All councils in England and Wales require landlords to license Houses in Multiple Occupation. Hillingdon Council also operates an additional licensing scheme across parts of the borough. Check the map to see if licensing applies to your home.
Does Hillingdon Council run a non-profit letting agency for private renters?
No, but perhaps they should! Why don’t you email them to ask for one?
Does Hillingdon council have a stand alone PRS strategy in its housing policy?
In Hillingdon’s housing strategy there is mention of the PRS but there seem to be no plans to extend license or take the more bold measures that other councils have done, even though often the worst quality housing in Hillingdon is found in the private sector.
Does Hillingdon Council run a PRS forum where private renters can discuss ways of making private renting fairer?
Hillingdon Council currently runs a quarterly landlords forum, but none for renters. Maybe they are waiting for a campaigner to suggest it!
In the three years up to March 2014, Hillingdon Council executed five housing prosecutions but then, there were no further prosecutions for two years. Each of the five prosecutions related to HMO licensing offences.
Unfortunately, Hillingdon did not obtain even one Rent Repayment Order from the landlords of unlicensed HMOs in that time.
In 2017, recent stories such as this one, suggest that the council might be working harder to crack down on criminal landlords.
Hillingdon Labour Group takes an interest in private housing and think that the Conservative are driving the PRS back to the days of ‘Rachmanism’ with ‘beds in sheds’. Read more
Who else can I talk to about making private renting fairer?
Every council is divided between Councillors, who are elected politicians, and officers, who are employed to do a particular job. In Hillingdon this person might be useful to talk to: