How many of us are there?
In 2015, the Office for National Statistics found 36,500 private renters in Sutton.
Why don’t renters just buy a house?
The average house price is 10.55 times the average salary in Sutton. Buying a home is out of reach for most people, then.
Why can’t they get a council house?
There are 1,612 people on the Sutton Council waiting list for a council house. This isn’t nearly as long as some inner London boroughs. Still, even people who have been accepted on to the Council list have to rent privately while they’re waiting.
Looks like we’re stuck renting then. What’s it going to cost?
The Valuation Office Agency records median average rents in Sutton as:
Room in a shared house- £600
Studio flat- £705
One bedroom flat- £875
Two bedroom flat- £1,150
Three bedroom flat- £1,460
Four or more bedrooms- £1,900
A lot of private renters have to claim housing benefit, then?
Yes, in Sutton, 4,192 private tenants claim housing benefit
And does housing benefit cover it?
For most people, housing benefit is not enough to cover the cost of renting a home in the private sector. Local housing allowance levels vary, according to which part of the borough you live in. In Outer South London (e.g. Sutton Town), Local Housing allowance is slightly less than in Outer South West London (e.g. Worcester Park).
Shared accommodation: £357.33 or £379
One bedroom rate: £746.37 or £909
Two bedroom rate: £939.86 or £1,216
Three bedroom rate: £1,209.60 or £1,460.16
Four bedroom rate: £1,492.31 or £1,807.08
Can I talk to someone at the council about problems with my private landlord?
Sutton council advises private tenants to contact the council directly, on 020 8770 5000. Ask for residential protection or to speak to the environmental health department.
Are there any Tenancy Relations Officers (TROs)?
No, unfortunately not.
Do private landlords in Sutton have to get a licence?
Sutton Council doesn’t operate any additional or selective licensing scheme but the law has it that all larger Houses in Multiple Occupation must be licensed.
Does Sutton council run a non-profit letting agency for private renters?
No. Perhaps they’re waiting for a campaigner to email a suggestion for one!
Is there any stand-alone PRS strategy in Sutton Council’s housing policy?
Unfortunately, Sutton Council Housing Strategy 2015 only acknowledges the unaffordability of the private rented sector, without setting out any strategy to improve the situation.
Does Sutton council have a Private Rented Sector (PRS) forum, where private renters can discuss ways to make private renting better?
Not at the moment. Perhaps you should email the council, to suggest it?
How many criminal landlords has Sutton Council prosecuted?
In the five years until March 2016, Sutton Council took only two housing prosecution over the last five years Neither prosecution was for offences related to HMO licensing. Sutton Council did not obtain any Rent Repayment Orders from landlords of unlicensed HMOs in the five years to March 2016, either.
Who else should I talk to about making private renting fairer in Sutton?
Every council is divided between Councillors, who are elected politicians, and non-political officers, who are appointed to do a particular job. In Sutton, you might find it useful to contact:
Cllr. Ruth Dombey,
Leader of Sutton Council; Chair, Strategy & Resources Committee;
Chair, Health and Wellbeing Board
St. Nicholas Way
e. t. 020 8770 5406
Cllr. Jayne McCoy
Chair, Housing, Economy & Business Committee
St Nicholas Way
e: t: 020 8770 5031
Executive Head Housing and Regeneration
t: 020 8770 6173