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to wonder how private renters in London can afford their rent if they have children?

(51 Posts)
Belladonna666 Sun 03-Feb-13 16:44:31

Rents are so out of kilter. In my area a 2 bed is now £325 per week on average. We just cannot afford this and even though my dh has a better than average paying job, this is insanity and we are thinking about upping sticks, even though I have lived here all my life. How do people, especially those with young children afford to pay private rents in London? It's just crazy and in my opinion so destructive for communities, individuals and the economy. Only the rich getting richer at the expense of everyone else.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 03-Feb-13 16:53:36

What's so wrong with moving out of London? Lots of people relocate for job prospects or better schools. Why is so bad to relocate to reduce your cost of living?

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 16:55:57

It may not reduce your cost of living if your commuting costs are so high and it will definitely reduce your quality of life if you have a long commute. It may also not reduce your cost of living if you rely on family for childcare.

But, tbh, I don't know how anyone but the very rich or those who bought a while back afford the place as I have only been there for visits.

specialsubject Sun 03-Feb-13 16:56:18

the landlords have big mortgages to pay, so the rents are high. Also maintaining properties costs a lot in London.

many London jobs (not all) pay a fortune - all those bankers, financiers etc. So those people can afford it. And why not, they work all hours and spend the rest of the time travelling so they deserve the money.

supply, demand, economics and all that. However it works. :-)

MousyMouse Sun 03-Feb-13 16:57:19

squeezing in is the answer.
families with two or more dc in small 2 bedroom places is quite normal.

That seems quite cheap for london to me!

ISeeSmallPeople Sun 03-Feb-13 16:59:46

You don't even have to move out of London. A move 1mile in any direction would find you somewhere cheaper or more expensive
I have 3 2 bed flats within a mile of each other. One is in a more desirable area and easily rents for double the other two. All are equally nice and decorated the same. But the more expensive flat also cost more to buy.

JuliaScurr Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:13

most people on housing benefit are working - what happens if they can't afford to live near or commute to the job? Bus drivers, hospital porters, teaching assistants etc. You know, people who do something useful, not LIBOR fixers. Will London not need bin men? Dinner ladies?

Belladonna666 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:55

We can't move as my elderly mum lives nearby and she needs my help quite a lot. Also commuting costs would outweigh most of the savings in rent/buying costs and my dh works enough hours aleady without having 2x2 hours extra commuting every day.

drizzlecake Sun 03-Feb-13 17:06:07

Bin men will be in social housing I would think any that's left and not being sublet that is

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 17:08:08

Does your mum own her own flat? If you're her carer, you might consider moving in with her or, if she rents, she moves in with your family so you can afford a larger flat.

Belladonna666 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:10:41

Yes, she does own but her place would not be big enough for all of us.

We rent a lovely 2 bedroom flat in a part of London that borders Essex which is perfect for us. Easy commute into central London but a forest at the bottom of our road for our son.
It is a converted house so isn't as sound proof as some purpose built flats but it has character and we have a share of the garden.
We pay £950 a month in rent but originally the estate agent wanted £1000, we haggled smile
We could never afford to buy in this area so I'm going to enjoy living here while we rent!

forevergreek Sun 03-Feb-13 17:16:09

we pay a bit more than you a week, but one have a one bed flat. we squeeze in to reduce commute (both time and costs) and to live in a nice location. we actually have enough space though imo, and are close to hyde park etc for outdoor space. (have small balcony big enough for bbq/ children chalking/water play/ sandpit etc- well one at a time)

children both in cotbeds still along one wall in bedroom. we also went minimalistic to save crap being stored. family know not to buy kids too much as havent the space.

everything has storage. so drawer under cot beds contain kids spare bedding, winter/summer clothes not used depending on season in one, and toys for rotation with ones out in the other. we have x4 drawers under king size bed.

sofa bed for visitors in lounge. dining table has storage in the middle. coffee table doubles as a play table for lego/trains etc and has 4 stools underneath that can be removed for extra seating. they open up as storage as this is where lots of the childrens toys are.

we didnt buy many 'child/baby related' things. so a baby gym that fodled behind sofa, but over a baby sheepskin rug, which we still use now as regular rug. clip on small highchairs. so no space used on floor. baby mat just added to a dresser in bedroom. one cotbed each. no moses basket/ cribs/ swinging chairs. buggy thats folds small and lasts 0-not used (bugaboo bee)

we sold all adult books (except referenc ebooks) and have a kindle each, no dvds etc, as subscribe to love flim/netflixs instead. only childrens books.

basically everything has two uses.

we dont have space for kids to run about etc, and they have learnt to be considerate of others if they are asleep/ill etc.we are members off all the local zoos/ widlife places/ national trusts/museums (which family members usually pay for annual membership as xmas/birthday presents instead of excess toys we havent space for, which is great). so we spend a fair amount of time out each day. the children have head to toe wet weather gear so can wallow in mud/puddles all year around!

Lifeisontheup Sun 03-Feb-13 17:19:53

We live in north Hampshire and my DH's commute is an hour and a quarter door to door. Rent is £1200 for a three bed roomed detached house. We moved out of London before we had children as we knew we would not be able to afford a house with a garden. Would hate to live in London anyway so it's not a problem.

JuliaScurr Sun 03-Feb-13 17:25:37

drizzle why would bin men get counccil houses?

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 17:26:09

Then you squeeze in, Bella, the way forever does, or your mum sells her place and goes in with your and your DH to buy a place farther outside so you can have room for your family.

I knew plenty of people who grew up in places like NYC, London and Hong Kong where the two children - even opposite genders - shared the bedroom and the parents slept on a fold out sofa/bed.

forevergreek Sun 03-Feb-13 17:31:38

our life is much better squeezed in. we would be no better off if we moved out.

we worked out we would need to pay for childcare 2 hours longer every day. (thats 20 hours a month extra)

commute fees for us both (currently walk/cycle)

and would hardly see each other is we moved out to somewhere with say a nice 3 bed terrace.

the prices would even out/ be more

Timetoask Sun 03-Feb-13 17:33:42

Forevergreek, your children are still tiny. How long do you think you can sustain that squeeze for?

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 17:37:24

Bunkbeds and parents in the living room.

pollypandemonium Sun 03-Feb-13 17:39:07

You either squeeze out or squeeze in. Would you buy a place to share with your mother? If you can find ground floor flat with a large garden you would be able to extend.

Thornintherose Sun 03-Feb-13 17:40:54

We pay £280 a week and get £70 a week housing benefit. My husband earns around 30k. If renting, lots of people can claim housing benefit they just don't know.

Rent in London are ridiculous, so is the fact that the council subsidise private landlord by paying housing rent - something needs to be done about it, I think shelter have started a campaign.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 17:41:24

Well I was wondering, I know what 1/2 bed flats cost to buy outright round these parts (anywhere from 178K through to 300K) but in the news shopper this week there were loads and loads of HA shared ownership properties starting from 35,250 (Crayford, ok so its a bit of a run down area) 77k (Sidcup, nice end of Sidcup) and 64250 (Old Bexley - and thats about as posh as you can get round these parts).

So why aren't people looking further out? all those areas have mainline trains within a 7 min walk into Charing X/Cannon Street/Blackfriars/Victoria or a bus to Lewisham and get the DLR to pick up a tube.

They look really nice too - the Old Bexley one is next to a completely private conversion where one beds are close to 600K

pippop1 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:42:14

Forevergreek you say you live near Hyde Park! Wow, how fantastic to live so close to the centre of London, no wonder it's not so big. Sounds like it works well for you currently.

cestlavielife Sun 03-Feb-13 17:49:15

"dining table has storage in the middle" wow good idea! where do you get that?
i am also for the squeeze in double use approach to be in a central london area nice street etc .
currently paying high rent - and it is frustrating that many of the flats around us are housing co-op/council owned and pay much less...but that's life

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 17:52:17

Something else I've noticed in local shop windows of late. Persumably mature folks with spare bedrooms, offering to rent out for £50pw - and clearly quite desperate because they nearly all say they will take smokers too.

Its true if you try the SE suburbs you can get a lovely 3 bed for that price. We are Greenwich/Bexley borders and if you can live without the tube you can pick & choose for that price. I guess it depends how central you want to be...

forevergreek Sun 03-Feb-13 19:01:50

Time to ask- I think we can get at least 5 more years here. Boys are 3 Years and 18 months atm. Their cot beds will last until 6 years wil the sides off ( toddler beds). We have enough room in bedroom for bunk beds and room divider ( will probably get something like a large expedit unit to seperate a bit)- so a little privacy once bigger

After this we will probably move out a bit- in the meantime our jobs are being adapted so when we do move we can work from home half the week or more to save on commute/ travel time etc. we will prob still stay close though. ATM we are zone 1, I think probably zone 3 and a 2 bed/ poss 3

Our table is handmade for who asked. Has a solid oak column in the centre instead of legs and this has 4 drawers on either side ( not huge but we use for kids art materials on one side as an idea)

whatmattersmore Sun 03-Feb-13 19:11:34

We were renting a tiny 1-bed near Kings X for £300pw until recently. It wasn't a particularly smart place but it was very convenient for work, school and amenities. We could have afforded to pay more but we've been saving for a deposit and now have managed to buy a 2 bed flat nearby. DH is on a good salary, I work p/t and we have one DS. We won't have any more children as we'd like to stay in this flat for at least ten years but don't want to squeeze in quite as much as forevergreek.

I know families who have the arrangements expat describes, two dc sharing the bedroom and parents on a sofabed at night. Also, it's more common for middle-income families here to be prepared to rent on a council estate (in a flat which has been sold off), many of them are quite smart and well-maintained, but in other parts of the UK only students would consider living there.

Many couples don't start their families until they are 35+, and live in shared flats until then, to save for a deposit. These are quite well-paid professionals - it's just rare for adults to have their own self-contained place (rented or owned) before they have dc.

And I agree there are still much cheaper bits of London if you look beyond zone 3 and don't want/need the tube. It costs a lot to commute in but I know supermarket workers who spend 1.5 hrs on the bus each morning to avoid paying tube fares, coming in from zone 5. Personally I prefer to live closer to the centre and put up with a smaller home as we make the most of amenities nearby, but lots of friends were shock when we bought and couldn't understand why we didn't choose to go for a 4 bed house a few miles out of town.

SirIronBottom Sun 03-Feb-13 20:22:49

The rental situation in London is ridiculous. If the government wants to cut the housing benefit bill the FIRST thing it should look at is introducing rent controls.

DontmindifIdo Sun 03-Feb-13 20:38:16

We moved out for this reason, we'd been renting a 2 bed place in blackheath, we were looking at buying and for the same price as a 2 bed top floor flat in that area we could get a generous sized 3 bed house in a nice part of Kent- because it's on a fast train link to London bridge (where trains from blackheath go in to), it only added 10minutes each way to our journey times. (check out trains on fast connections, we'd have much longer commuting times from places far closer to London) if we'd been happy to rent a similar sized property as we had on London, we'd pay about a third less rent a month, in what is arguably a nicer area.

There are enough young, child free couples with large double incomes in London to keep demand up for 2 bed flats.

determinedma Sun 03-Feb-13 20:49:54

I knew London was expensive but I am genuinely staggered at the rents.shock
We live in Central Scotland, half an hour from Edinburgh, an hour from Glasgow, in a large flat in a converted house. Two large bedrooms and one boxroom, huge kitchen but small bathroom, and a large private garden. We pay £450 a month. Suddenly, I'm starting to appreciate it a bit more..?.

forevergreek Sun 03-Feb-13 21:33:21

determinedma- a quick look on zoopla shows me i cant even get a double room in a houseshare here for £450 a month. the closest was a scummy single room, with shared toilet and kitchen, no lounge, thats £480 a month

NuzzleMyScratch Sun 03-Feb-13 21:36:53

We were renting at 350pw until I had DS. We then realised that this was going to be an unsustainable version of events and moved in with my parents for a short time. Well we're still here 2 years later and can't see any way to get out sad

NumericalMum Sun 03-Feb-13 21:46:20

My sister paid £450 a month for a room in a house share!

People have children later and save in answer to the OP. I was a very young mum at my work at 28. Most of my colleagues with kids come in from Essex and one parent doesn't work or they rely on grandparents. We have a lovely big house as we live in an area nobody wants to live in thanks to a lot of ignorance and racism! It is zone 3, 15 minutes to London bridge. 3 stations within a mile and a million bus routes.

pluCaChange Sun 03-Feb-13 22:17:50

Careful of the "moving out" option, though. We moved out, to a London suburb which should be fine because it's on the train line. However, we now have a DC2 so I'm not at work, and just hate it here, and feel really stuck.

pollypandemonium Mon 04-Feb-13 00:14:46

Glad to hear there are a lot of squeezer inners, I always vowed I would live completely rural or completely urban, never in between. But I am now in zone 3 which is urban but also a bit villagey, I'm starting to get to know everyone and getting twitchy. They know my car, they know when I'm in, I recognise everyone's kids and socialise with their teachers. the pub's full of people I know. The younget even plays out with kids on the street! It sounds ideal to some but I'm not sure I like it. Can't wait for them all to leave so I can get a nice little flat in Bloomsbury for me and my cats blush.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 04-Feb-13 00:30:35

We couldn't. So husband gave up his dream job and we moved out. He still commutes a fair bit but we can actually make life work now.

StinkyWicket Mon 04-Feb-13 00:42:45

I am shock as well at the prices! We pay £400 pcm on the mortgage for our 3 bed terrace (Liverpool) and are lucky we have excellent transport links to town centre and anywhere else. We don't have a car.

If I were to do my job but in London, I am pretty certain I would get only about £2k more pa for the London weighting, but then would have no choice but to live in outer London and commute. I don't have commute costs right now but I know it would be expensive!

Lighthousekeeping Mon 04-Feb-13 00:58:07

I pay £500 a month in a crappy area and am still flat sharing in my 40's it's embarrassing. I could never afford to live on my own though. I always wonder how people with normal jobs afford to live here and raise a family. I'm guessing some of them are lucky enough to have got council housing when they were young, if they were born and raised in London. Maybe they get some kind of help from the government or, perhaps I'm just rubbish budgeting? I agree that something needs to be done. Getting rid of the Stigma or renting for one thing.

expatinscotland Mon 04-Feb-13 04:15:42

And yet people think, that we should all come into London to grovel for whatever pittance anyone can throw. Find some couch to surf, else they are feckless scroungers, honestly? This will solve the triple-dip recession that is coming? For tens of thousands, on top of what comes in from Romania and Bulgaria soon enough, to come thronging in, when such phenomenon was put away with 45-35 years ago, for the suffering and disease that came in with it for possiblity of work?

Truly?

expatinscotland Mon 04-Feb-13 04:37:33

Trouble with lots of folk flooding into London is same as it always was. It's an old city on a tidal river, and no matter how things have changed in 3000 years nothing's changed that. The systems can't cope. Not enough power = not enough clean water. Not enough clean water = all manner of highly deadly unpleasantness.

Do you really want everyone to get on their bike to Londonium? We've tried that before.

So we need to get past this whole idea that, 'If you looking for work, get on your bike to London! Entire EU, including Romania and Bulgaria at end of 2013. You don't come to London, you are a lazy scumbag worthy of starvation.'

Because Londinium has a long history of slums and plague. And if you think plagues are something of the past, well, I'll just sit up here in rural Scotland where one struck us in 2009.

You can't have it both ways. You diffuse job creation or you deal with the reoccurance of slum housing and its associated problems, which are mainly disease from which no one is immune.

fromparistoberlin Mon 04-Feb-13 08:00:04

move to an unglam london surburb, simple!

houseprices are £285 and rent circa £1100 and that gets you space

Scheherezade Mon 04-Feb-13 08:26:41

Omg. That is all.

I read that as 325 pm and couldn't see what your problem was. blush

Having finally read it properly, I'm shock. We pay less than that pm for our mortgage on a lovely house - though admittedly we've been here 15years and the mortgage is now only a quarter of its value (sorry, that probably just makes you feel worse). Mind you, we're late 40's, rented till we were nearly 30.

ILikeBirds Mon 04-Feb-13 08:45:22

It's a sign of how out of kilter London can be that this

"houseprices are £285 and rent circa £1100 and that gets you space"

is quoted as a good price grin

oohlaalaa Mon 04-Feb-13 09:59:28

My best friend and her boyfriend need to make a decision on whether to stay in London. They have a joint income of 80k a year, and are early 30s, and still renting. They love living in London, & get by fine with just the two of them, but rent on their one bed flat is £1,500 PCM, and although they have enough savings for a deposit on house up north, cannot afford a deposit in London, and with maternity leave/ child are costs would ideally need to find somewhere cheaper to live.

Her boyfriends answer is to emigrate to Australia, as his sister married an Aussie and lives in Brisbane. My friend is not so sure, as she has lots of close family and friends here.

DontmindifIdo Mon 04-Feb-13 11:43:36

pluCaChange - do you think it's the area or being at home? I moved out when 7months pregnant, but did build a new circle of friends, however all my 'London friends' have full time jobs, so even if we'd stayed put, I'd have been lonely/starting from scratch making new friends/new life in London compared to my 'no DCs, long hours and lots of late night drinking' lifestyle from before.

I suppose it helps for us that both DH and I were among the thousands who didn't grow up in London but moved there post uni for work, so it's not like we had lots of elderly relatives living in the city to feel we had to stay tied there, I suppose if you had a lot of non-working or parttime working friends and family in London, it would feel more of a big step to 'move out'.

Plus if you are like us and had already made the big shift to move to London in the first place in early 20s, it's not as 'scary' to move again in early 30s, the mindset is "it's easy to move to a new city/town and build a network" because you've done it the once and know that really it's not that hard to do/that you are the sort of person who can do that. It is often overlooked by people like me who've done it once already that for people who've only ever lived in one area, moving for work/housing isn't just about commute times and wages, but is a big mental leap to make, it can be a bit much to think about how you would start from scratch with a family if you've never done anything like that before.

Absy Mon 04-Feb-13 12:29:50

DH and I have had LOTS of discussions about moving/staying etc. We're in a 1 bed at the mo (IMO it's a large one, good area, easy for us to get to work etc.) and thinking about DCs, and have decided to stay for now. A friend has recently moved into a flat across the road, smaller than ours, unfurnished, and £120 pcm more than ours. Totally not worth getting something bigger, particulalry since it is recommended to have an infant in with you for first 6 months (so paying double rent for an empty room seems pointless). However, once it gets to the point where we'd need an extra room, our solution is to emigrate (or unimmigrate more accurately).

We can't afford to buy, despite having lots of savings and good jobs, unless we buy far out, which means higher commuting costs and more time travelling (and then higher childcare costs).

roughtyping Mon 04-Feb-13 16:30:03

Can't believe the prices - £1500 here gets you a massive house in a very nice area. We pay £475 PCM for our wee semi 2 bed with garage and garden. Beautiful area.

photographerlady Mon 04-Feb-13 16:33:10

Its tough, something I know I cant manage and thats why I am moving an hour away from London and commuting in when the baby is here.

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