Rents swallow 'one fifth' of Sunderland wages

Private rent levels were costing middle-income tenants in Sunderland one fifth of their pre-tax wages – before the cost of living escalated, according to new figures.

By Andrew Dowdeswell
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 12:42 pm
Polly Neate of Shelter.
Polly Neate of Shelter.

In the city, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom property stood at £425 in the year to March, say Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures – with the median wage in the area being £24,961 per year.

That means the average middle-income worker in Sunderland spent around 20% of their income on rent last year – before living costs soared in April, adding to the strain on people’s finances.

Median rent across all property types in Sunderland in the 12 months to March this year was £500 - the same as the year before.

The Government’s recently unveiled renters' reform bill aims to ban no-fault evictions and provide greater legal power for tenants to challenge landlords on unfit homes and unjust rent rises.

Housing charity Shelter said the bill is a “gamechanger” for England’s 11 million private renters.

Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, said: “Millions of tenants are living on a knife-edge with no wriggle room to help then navigate rising costs as private rents rocket.

Ms Neate urged the Government to end the freeze on housing benefit immediately.

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: "We are extending the decent homes standard to the private rented sector, giving all renters the legal right to a warm home, while empowering them to challenge poor housing standards and unjustified rent increases."