How many private renters are there in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames?
There were 42,500 private renters in Richmond in 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics . That’s over four times the number of households renting from the council!
Why aren’t renters able to buy a house?
Because in Richmond, the average house costs 14.50 the average earnings.
Why aren’t private renters in Richmond able to get a council house?
There are around 5,000 people waiting for social housing in Richmond, and the borough has the smallest stock of social housing in London (only Bexley has less social housing).
Looks like we are stuck in the private rented sector then. What’s it going to cost?
Monthly average rents for Richmond upon Thames, recorded by the Valuation Office Agency, are:
Room in a shared house: £595
Studio flat: £950
One bedroom flat: £1,200
Two-bedroom flat: £1,550
Three-bedroom flat: £2,098
House with four or more bedrooms: £3,700
These figures are for rent alone so don’t include fuel bills or council tax.
That’s a lot! Do many private renters in Richmond have to claim housing benefit then?
In Richmond, 2, 874 private renters have to claim housing benefit to help pay their rent.
And does housing benefit cover private rents?
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 rates in Richmond vary, depending on which part of the borough you live in
Inner South West London
Shared Accommodation Rate: £408.98
One Bedroom Rate: £1,099.87
Two Bedrooms Rate: £1,310.10
Three Bedrooms Rate: £1,536
Four Bedrooms Rate: £177.80
Outer South West London
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
Outer West London
Shared Accommodation Rate: £357.11
One Bedroom Rate: £761.54
Two Bedrooms Rate: £995.15
Three Bedrooms Rate: £1,180.83
Four Bedrooms Rate: £1,378.00
Richmond upon Thames Council and Wandsworth Council are currently in the proccess of merging their services. Any services that are available to private renters in Wandsworth should also be able to help you if you live in Richmond. Read more
Can I talk to someone at the council about problems with my private landlord?
Richmond Council says that they cannot help you with ‘minor disputes’ between you and your landlord and reminds renters that you should always contact your landlord about problems first, before going to the council. At Renters’ Rights London, we recommend that you to write to your landlord, rather than having a conversation about any issue.
Of course, council officers should investigate reports of serious disrepair which might be causing a health and safety hazard in a rented property. For more information or to make a complaint.
Private renters can also get free advice issues related to housing from Richmond Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Are there any Tenancy Relations Officers (TROs)?
Richmond upon Thames council has a Private Sector Housing Service to identify issues related to the condition of rented homes and to act to enforce legal standards.
The Council also operates a liaison service, to mediate where there is the threat of homelessness and to seek to prevent eviction.
Do private landlords in Richmond have to get a licence?
At the moment, only landlords renting out larger Houses in Multiple Occupation (three or more storeys, with five or more people in more than one household) need to get a licence in Richmond. The council has not introduced any additional or selective licensing scheme. Moreover, by August 2016, Richmond upon Thames Council had only issued 49 licences, in total!
Does Richmond council run a non-profit letting agency for private renters?
No. The Council does support a voluntary sector agency, SPEAR to organise access to private rented properties for people who have endured street homelessness, though.
Is there a stand alone PRS strategy in Richmond Council’s housing policy?
In Richmond Council’s Housing Strategy 2013-2017, good quality accommodation in the private rented sector is a stated objective. However, the council appear to be complacent about tackling overpriced rents and criminal landlords.
Acknowledging the extremely high costs of the PRS in many parts of the borough, the Tenancy Strategy 2013 discusses Affordable Rents in much more detail.
The Cambridge Centre for Housing Planning and Research document analyses the PRS in the borough in much greater detail.
Does Richmond council have a Private Rented Sector (PRS) forum, where private renters can discuss ways to make private renting better?
There is no PRS Forum. Richmond Council recommends that, if local residents want to get involved and influence Council services, they should do so through village planning.
How many criminal landlords has Richmond council prosecuted?
There have been no prosecutions since 2011, perhaps longer. Richmond Council have not yet obtained any Rent Repayment Orders, either. The council asserts that this is because landlords are compliant overall, and, when they are not, landlords respond promptly to warnings and carry out the necessary work.
Who else can I talk to about making private renting fairer in Richmond upon Thames?
Every council is divided between Councillors, who are elected politicians, and non-political officers, who are appointed to do a particular job. In Richmond it might be useful to talk to
Cllr. Mark Boyle
Cabinet Member for Housing, Public Health, and Community Safety
t. 07588 460 644
Cllr. David Marlow
Strategic Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health
e: t: 020 8943 5178
Cllr. Liz Jaeger
Opposition Spokesperson for Housing and Public Health
t. 020 8977 0785