Cost of living crisis: Glasgow streamer gives up on London move over extortionate rents
Private rents are growing by the fastest annual rate since 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.
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Lindsay Pattison, a 27-year-old streamer and content creator, had hoped to return to the capital following the pandemic - but has found herself priced out due to extortionate rents.
Lindsay, who is known as Toastie202 online, isn’t the only millennial who has found themselves in this situation.
Private rents are growing by the fastest annual rate since 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
London has been hit the hardest, with the median monthly rent in the capital now nearly twice that of the rest of England.
“I went down last month to look at flats and I knew the situation was bad because I heard about the cost of living crisis but I didn’t realise just how bad it was going to be,” said Lindsay.
“Last time I lived in London, (pre-pandemic), I was paying £650 for my rent and bills included in a flatshare in Shepherd’s Bush.
“This time because of the cost of living crisis I looked a bit further out in zones 4 and 5 to hopefully find somewhere affordable.
“Even then our estate agents told us that our budget was too low and we needed to raise it to at least £900 a month before bills.”
Generation Rent – an independent national organisation which lobbies for renters’ rights – has also called for rent freezes in London in light of soaring energy costs.
“Estate agents were saying it’s the craziest it’s ever been for prices,” Lindsay continued.
“Places also aren’t offering anything less than a 12 month contract.
“We were also having to over offer for rent as students were coming in looking to move back to London after the pandemic.
“I was really desperate to make it work. But over the past few weeks I noticed I was experiencing huge anxiety and I was struggling to sleep.
“I was worried I would sign for a 12 month contract and not be able to support myself.
“I just realised it was going to be way too much stress and it wasn’t going to be worth it.”
Lindsay said a few of her friends in the creative industry have had to return to Glasgow as they just can’t afford it anymore.
“I’d like to move back to London but from what I’ve heard and what I’m seeing I can’t see it getting any better anytime soon,” she said.
“It’s just too scary right now.”
A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “We recognise people are facing pressures with the cost of living and we are offering support - including Discretionary Housing Payments, funding for renters in arrears and a £500 million Household Support Fund to help the most vulnerable in England.
“Recent evidence suggests that rent controls would discourage investment and lead to declining property standards, which would not help landlords or tenants.
“Our Private Rented Sector White Paper in the Spring will also set out reforms to make renting fairer for all, including banning ‘no fault’ evictions to protect tenants.”