How many private renters are there in Kingston?
In 2015, the Office for National Statistics found that there were 35,700 private renters in Kingston. The current figure is probably higher.
If renting is so bad, why don’t private renters just buy a house?
In Kingston the average home costs 11.98 times the average income. This puts home ownership out of reach for very many people.
Can’t they get a council house instead?
Sadly not. There are currently some 8,542 households on the council waiting list house in Kingston. Most of those people will still be living in privately-rented accommodation.
Looks like we’re stuck in the private rented sector, then. What’s it going to cost?
Monthly median average rents in Kingston recorded by the Valuation Office Agency, are below.
Room in a shared house: £550
Studio flat: £825
One-bedroom flat: £1,070
Two-bedroom flat: £1,350
Three-bedroom flat: £1,733
House with four or more bedrooms: £2,500
These figures don’t include fuel bills or council tax; that’s just the rent!
That’s a lot. I guess that means a lot of private renters have to claim housing benefit to live then?
Yes – nearly 4,000 private renters in Kingston need housing benefit to help pay 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 your home from a private landlord, or from a housing association, or from the council. The monthly LHA in Kingston depends on where you live in the borough and is as follows:
Outer South London (e.g. Malden Rushett, Chessington)
Shared Accommodation Rate:£357.32
One Bedroom Rate:£746.37
Two Bedrooms Rate:£939.86
Three Bedrooms Rate:£1,209.60
Four Bedrooms Rate:£1,492.31
Outer South West London (e.g. Kingston)
Shared Accommodation Rate: £379
One Bedroom Rate: £896
Two Bedrooms Rate: £1,215.93
Three Bedrooms Rate: £1,460.16
Four Bedrooms Rate:£1,807.09
Can I talk to someone at the council about problems with my private landlord?
For issues with illegal eviction, harassment, failure to return a deposit or problems with rent increases, Kingston Council can give advice. Call 020 8547 5003 or email
The council can also use its powers to take action against a landlord if they are neglecting the property to the point it becomes a health and safety issue.
Housing information is also available from Citizens Advice Kingston
Are there any Tenancy Relations Officers (TROs)?
No. The council recommends that you speak to Citizens Advice Kingston first.
Do private landlords in Kingston-upon-Thames have to get a licence?
Mandatory licensing is in place in Kingston, as it is throughout the country, homes where five or more people who are not all members of one family share a kitchen, a bathroom or a toilet. But because shared homes in larger, purpose-built blocks, are not included, in Kingston upon Thames, there is also an additional licensing scheme. This applies to every home shared by five or more people, who are not all members for the same family. Licensing also applies if the house has three storeys or more, and is occupied by three or more people.
Does Kingston Council run a non-profit letting agency for private renters?
Yes, but like that run by many other councils, Kingston’s private sector leasing scheme is for househlds accepted as homeless so it’s not accessible to all renters.
Does Kingston upon Thames Council have a stand alone PRS strategy in its housing policy?
No, but the council wants to see improved conditions for privately rented homes. Kingston Council hopes that this will be achieved through additional licensing and providing better information to landlords, backed by enforcement where necessary.
Does Kingston council run a PRS forum where private renters’ can discuss ways of making private renting fairer?
Yes! The council runs a Resident Participation Review group, which is open to both renters and leaseholders as a way to express opinions on housing. Read more here
The RPRG group is run by the Kingston Federation of Residents (FED)
How many criminal landlords have been prosecuted by Kingston Council?
We are currently waiting for an up to date figure from the council. Between 2011 and 2014, though, only one criminal landlord was prosecuted.
Who else can I talk to about making private renting fairer?
Every council is divided between Councillors, who are elected politicians, and non-political officers, who are appointed to do a particular job. In Kingston upon Thames, this person might be useful to talk to:
Portfolio holder – Adult Social Care and Health (incl. housing)