Rents swallow 'one sixth' of South Tyne wages

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

Polly Neate of Shelter.
Polly Neate of Shelter.

In South Tyneside, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom property stood at £395 in the year to March, say Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures – with the median wage in the area being £27,356 per year.

That means the average middle-income worker in the area spent around 17% of their income on rent last year – before living costs soared in April, adding to the strain on people’s finances.

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Median rent across all property types in South Tyneside rose from £475 a month in the 12 months to March 2021 to £495 last year.

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."