A group of seven friends have hit out at their former landlord for turning their London rental home into separate flats costing up to £1,600 each.
Despite falling by an average of £11,000 last month, London property prices continue to remain high.
With many young Londoners unable to afford mortgages, they’re left stuck in the precarious rental market.
But tenants of a once spacious six-bedroom home in north-east London were gutted to find their old property had been turned into multiple flats which could generate £7,600 a month in rent – a 143% increase on what they were paying.
Rich Felgate, 30, and six friends were given notice of eviction from the property on Elphinstone Road, Walthamstow, in September 2022.
But he says he was ‘shocked’ when a previous neighbour told him their six rooms are now individual properties being rented out for between £1,000 and £1,600 a month.
Rich told Metro.co.uk: ‘We’d lived there for a couple of years and we’d asked to sign a new tenancy just before that and then got given our notice instead so we had to find somewhere else.
‘In Walthamstow, properties are becoming very few and far between so we had to move out of the area to Hackney and it took around three months to be able to find somewhere.
‘I think our rent was quite average for a share house in the area. We had some friends down the road who paid quite a lot less,’ he said.
Despite knowing the landlord had applied for planning permission, they believed this was ‘to turn the place into two flats… not a sardine kind of place.’
‘It’s essentially still geared towards exactly what it was before, but without any kind of communal aspect and over double the price, it was a bit of a shock.’
The seven former tenants were collectively paying £3,000 a month to property management company Hanover Holdings, meaning the landlord’s income will more than double.
Old rent costs vs new rent costs in Walthamstow flats
Rent costs (per month) during Rich and his friends’ tenancy:
Large En Suite Bedroom (shared by a couple): £700
Large Bedroom: £650
Medium Double bedroom: £500
Medium Double Bedroom £425
Medium Double bedroom: £425
Small Double room: £300
New rent costs (per month) according to Your Move listings:
Large En Suite Bedroom: £1,600
Large Bedroom: £1,400
Medium Double bedroom: £1,400
Medium Double Bedroom £1,100
Medium Double bedroom: £1,100
Small Double room: £1,000
Rich said he felt ‘outraged’ to see the ads, and added: ‘People will be looking at the advert and seeing it’s done up relatively nicely, it’s all modern.
‘But they won’t know that actually, just a few months before someone was paying less than half that amount in somewhere where you don’t need a lock on your door, you’re not sharing a kitchen with strangers, where there doesn’t need to be CCTV and you don’t have to put in a quid every time you want to use a washing machine or something.’
The description of one of the larger rooms says: ‘The house consists of six rooms which has been recently renovated to an extremely high standard.
‘The rooms are fully furnished with laminate flooring, private en-suite, kitchenette, double glazing and gas central heating.
‘Please note the washing machine/dryer is coin operated and the kitchen contacting two ovens and two hobs are communal. The communal areas also benefit having CCTV.’
The listing even states that ‘couples will be considered’, meaning there might be even more of a tight squeeze.
A spokesperson for the independently owned and operated branch of Your Move in Walthamstow commented: ‘We were instructed to let the newly converted, fully compliant properties by the landlord.
‘All are now rented with tenants happy to have secured them. We have had no dealings with previous tenants at this property as we were not the letting agent at that time.’
Up and down the UK, rent – like most things these days – is on the rise.
In the past year, the average rent for a new letting leapt to £1,078 a month, a £117 increase compared to last year, according to Zoopla.
The median monthly rent in London has risen by £273 per month, now sitting at an eye-watering £1,879 – among the highest in the country.
In Walthamstow, an averagely priced house to buy will cost just shy of £560,000 – slightly above the average London house price of more than £530,000, which is itself £250,000 above the national average.
Metro.co.uk has contacted property management company Hanover Holdings for comment.
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