How many private renters are there in the London Borough of Redbridge?
In 2015, the Office for National Statistics identified 84,800 private renters in Redbridge! The current figure is likely to be even higher, as more people move out from inner London, seeking less exorbitant rents.
If renting is so bad, why don’t private renters just buy a house?
Because in Redbridge, the average home costs 11.35 times the average annual salary, home ownership is out of reach for most people.
Can they get a council house then?
There are currently 7, 901 households on the council’s housing waiting list in the borough. Most of these are likely to be living in private rented accommodation and some families will be in (even more) temporary accommodation, unfortunately.
Looks like we’re stuck in the private rented sector then. What’s it going to cost?
Monthly average rents for Redbridge, recorded by the Valuation Office Agency, are:
Room in a shared house: £500
Studio flat: £750
One bedroom flat: £900
Two-bedroom flat: £1,200
Three-bedroom flat: £1,500
House with four or more bedrooms: £1,900
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 stay alive then?
Yes. 10,183 private renters in Redbridge claim housing benefit to cover their rent- that’s a higher figure than for than council tenants.
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 housing allowance in Redbridge depends on which part of the borough you live in, the rates are:
Outer North East London (e.g. Woodford, Hainult)
Room in a shared house: £326.54
One bedroom rate: £675.99
Two bedroom rate: £836.98
Three bedroom rate: £1053.29
Four bedroom rate: £1359.06
Outer East London (e.g. Wanstead Flats)
Shared Accommodation Rate: £325.65
One Bedroom Rate: £674.14
Two Bedrooms Rate: £834.69
Three Bedrooms Rate:£1,050.40
Four Bedrooms Rate:£1, 352.74
Redbridge council offers general advice on finding private rented accommodation, which includes tips on where to look and how to deal with agents and landlords
Can I talk to someone at the council about problems with my private landlord?
Redbridge Council recommends first contacting your landlord about any problems with the property. The council provides a letter template here so that you can write to your landlord.
If you don’t receive a response or if your landlord refuses to do the work contact 0208 554 5000
Do private landlords in Redbridge have to get a licence?
In July 2017, licensing was introduced in Valentine’s and Clementswood wards. If you live there, a copy of the licence should be on display somewhere in your home. Check whether your home has been licensed.
Also, Redbridge council is requesting permission to introduce a wider selective scheme. Back in 2015, the then-Secretary of State refused the application from Redbridge to implement borough-wide licensing. It’s good to see that the Council has not given up and remains committed to improving standards in privately-rented accommodation across the borough.
Of course, like all councils in England and Wales, Redbridge requires landlords to license larger Houses in Multiple Occupation.
Does Redbridge Council run a non-profit letting agency for private renters?
The council does have a private sector lettings scheme, but it’s for people whom the council has a legal responsibility to house.
Does Redbridge Council run a PRS forum where private renters can discuss ways of making private renting fairer?
At the moment, Redbridge only has a landlord forum. Private renters are encouraged to get involved in the residents’ housing panel, though.
How many criminal landlords has Redbridge Council prosecuted?
The Council are serious about enforcement. Between 2014 and 2016, Redbridge brought prosecutions against 11 criminal landlords.
The Council has secured one Rent Repayment Order. The landlord of an unlicensed HMO was ordered to repay £6,562.26 in 2014.
Who else should I talk to about making private renting fairer in Redbridge?
Every council is divided between Councillors, who are elected politicians, and non-political officers, who are appointed to do a particular job. In Redbridge, this person might be useful to talk to:
Councillor Farah Khanum Hussain
Cabinet Member for Housing