Labour Councillors have called an urgent meeting with City West Homes Chief Executive, Nick Barton, after the Council’s Housing Management arm continued its campaign of celebrating huge increases in rents for former Council flats sold under the Right to Buy. Labour say that the Council should stop this campaign which is forcing up private rents in Westminster.
The latest posting on the City West Homes website aimed at buy-to-let investors claims;
“8.5% increase in market derived, private sector rents for ex-council flats in Westminster in 24 months
We understand each micro area within Westminster has an average rent, however taking Westminster by enlarge within the last 2 years, ex-council private sector rents have gone up by over 8%. We believe that Pimlico and Maida Vale have contributed the most to the increase comparing average rents now and 2 years ago.
We believe also that the average rent across the whole of Westminster for ex-council property is £480 per week or £2080 pcm. Data from the April 2014 HomeLet Rental Index shows the average cost of renting a home in Greater London reached a new high, after increasing by 9.4% versus April 2013 to £1,348 per month.
Taking into account our figures are focused just on Westminster ex-council it would suggest that such housing stock is keeping pace with other types of housing stock within London demonstrating it’s quality as an ongoing investment and any ‘stigma’ of ex-council is becoming less and less significant”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“We have called an urgent meeting with City West Homes to express our extreme dismay at its repeated irresponsible celebration of rapidly rising private rents in Westminster. So far almost 40% of the 10,000 Council flats sold under the Right to Buy are now in the hands of Buy-to-let investors who charge on average nearly £500 a week, around three times more than charged by the Council. Encouraging the sale of more former Council flats to buy-to-let investors simply pushes up private rents, as well as reducing the stock of properties available to prospective home-owners trying to get their foot on the home ownership ladder. We want City West Homes to concentrate on managing the Council’s housing stock better, rather than trying to compete with local estate agents – of which there is absolutely no shortage!”