The sky-high cost of renting in London has been laid bare after figures revealed tenants are forking out six weeks’ pay upfront each time they move home.
An analysis by Labour’s London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan shows renters are having to find £3,735 by way of a deposit and estate agent fees before moving into new accommodation, which the MP described as "exorbitant" and a "rip-off".
The figure, compiled by examining the costs levied by the capital’s six biggest agencies, dwarfs the average monthly wage in London of £2,700.
If elected, Mr Khan, whose main rival is Tory Zac Goldsmith, has pledged to establish a London-wide not-for-profit lettings agency to charge renters the “true administration costs” involved in moving.
The number-crunching reveals outer-London is moderately more affordable than central London - though people are still hit by a payment equivalent to five-and-a-half weeks wages.
The upfront charge ranges from £2,662 in the Bexley and Havering boroughs to £6,080 in Kensington and Chelsea.
Labour argues since the last mayoral election in 2012 average letting fees have soared in London by 48 per cent, but the Tories have “simply stood aside and done nothing to help struggling renters”.
Mr Khan said: “Millions of Londoners already struggling to find somewhere affordable to rent are also facing exorbitant and rip-off letting fees.
“People often have to move through no fault of their own, but because their rents are suddenly put up or they’re kicked out by their landlord. Londoners are having to take out loans or go into debt just to pay the huge initial costs.
“As Mayor, I’ll establish a London-wide not-for-profit lettings agency that will not only charge renters the true administration costs, but also drive up standards in London’s rental sector and provide greater stability for tenants.
“I’ll also use all my powers to ensure we use publicly owned land to build homes that Londoners can genuinely afford to rent and buy.”
Those renting have to stump on letting fees on top of a deposit equivalent to six weeks of rent and at least one month’s rent in advance.
The average deposit in London is around £1,940, while the average first month’s rent is £1,400. On top of that comes the average letting agent fee, which is £397.