The great social tenant rip-off by landlords

From March 2010 to March 2016 the mean weekly rent from :

  • private landlords increased by 16.66% from £162 to £189
  • local councils increased by 33.8% from £71 to £95
  • housing associations increased by 34.17% from £79 to £106

The CPI rate of inflation from March 2010 to March 2016 was 12.986% and if weekly rents had been limited to CPI then the mean:

  • Private or market weekly rent would be £183 so is 3.28% more than CPI inflation
  • The mean council rent would be £80.22 so is 18.42% above CPI inflation
  • The mean HA rent would be £89.26 so is 18.75% above CPI inflation

This means yearly that the tenant:

  • In private rented is paying £312 per year more in rent than CPI inflation
  • In council rented is paying £769 per year more in rent than CPI inflation
  • In HA rented is paying £870 per year more in rent than CPI inflation

Tenants are being ripped off and it is social housing tenants who are being ripped off the most as these facts demonstrate.  Yet all the social tenant hears from the social (sic) landlord is our (net) rents have had a 1% yearly cut imposed and usually immediately preceding this is why we have cut out staff levels by over 15% and in some cases by 25% – a double whammy of way above inflation level rent increases and far less service.

UPDATE: Tenants are charged £3.6 billion pa over and above inflation by councils and housing associations which is far more than they ever got in grant subsidy.

All of these facts above are damn pesky for the very asocial landlords and they are official figures contained here by the DCLG released 13 July 2017 and Table FA3201.

The one staggering fact for me is that in 2011/12 there were no social rents above £150 per week yet by March 2016 we find 19,000 council rents over £200 per week and 42,000 housing association weekly rents over £200 per week.

  • That is not only 61,000 social (sic) landlord rents above £200 it is 61,000 well above mean UK market rent.
  • In just four years we now see that 9% of all housing association rents are now over £200 per week and 3.9% of all council rents over £200 per week.

The real and greatest crisis in UK housing is not under supply it is profiteering and largely by council and especially housing association landlords.

srs rent rip off 2010 to 2016

The table above contains the data and the CPI inflation figures come from the ONS which can be accessed here so there is no doubt over the accuracy of these figures and the blatant profiteering of social (sic) landlords since 2010.

Let’s not also forget that the figure of an additional £870 per year over and above inflation is the AVERAGE amount that the housing association tenant is paying more as is the £769 per year more an AVERAGE that the council tenant is paying more.

The average £312 per year over and above inflation that the private tenant is paying seems trite by comparison and makes this analysis read like a pro private rented sector article!  Yet that is just a consequence of just how much the social tenant has been getting ripped off by council and housing association landlords since 2010.

These facts also neatly dovetail with the official eviction data I discussed a few weeks ago that revealed the social landlord evicts in the same proportion as the private landlord (who unlike the social landlord cant simply evict as they do not like the cut of your jib!)

That article entitled Staggeringly high social (sic) landlord evictions … shhh! contained the two simple facts that prove social (sic) landlord evict just as many households as the private landlord:

  • • UK has 53% private properties and 47% socially rented ones.
  • • UK evictions show 54% private to 46% social housing evictions.

These two issues of rent and eviction also dovetail with data released last week by the National Housing Federation to show that just 8.2% of all new housing association properties are at the social rent level or core HA product.

ha 201617 starts

Just 3,903 properties out of a total of 47,709 were for social rent and thus 8.2% and thus 91.8% of all housing association new properties are non-core HA products and at higher cost than social rent.  That zero to 9% figure of all HA properties costing more than £200 per week in March 2016 will increase ever higher because of this trend.


The rent level increases, evicting the same as the private landlord and the staggeringly low new build for social rent all reveal that the ethereal concept of social purpose that council and especially housing associations claim to have is a chimera, a smokescreen or if you prefer absolute bullshit.

The media focuses only on high private rent levels and only on high private evictions yet fails to comment upon the higher and much increased levels of rent and eviction in the social rented sector.

It is time that changed and instead of myth and shibboleth and assumption about the UK rented housing market being the basis for comment, analysis and solutions, it is way beyond time that those pesky little things called FACTS became the basis of all of them!


PS I trawled the internet for “housing rip off” and similarly close terms and guess what? About 98% of them are about private landlords and the other 2% are about student properties.  Try finding an article about social landlords ripping off their tenants and you wont – which shows just how much the facts as above of landlords ripping off social landlords are as rare as rocking horse shit.

great social housing rip off


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