It’s no secret that the UK is undergoing a housing crisis at the moment, with news last year that by 2020, first time buyers will need a salary of £64,000 per year in order to afford a property. This makes it all the more important then that we can afford to keep renting. Unfortunately the picture isn’t great. In Exeter, the average salary overall is £22,266 per year, while the salary needed to afford a 1 or 2 bedroom flat or a 2 bedroom terraced house is between £25,000 and £31,000. In order to be able to afford to rent, people often face poor quality housing and extortionate charges from letting agencies.
We have had enough of poor quality, high cost housing and we believe that radical change is needed in our city. The wave of luxury student accommodation is bad for students and for non-students, as everyone deserves a decent place to live at a price they can afford. We understand that none of these issues can be fixed overnight, however we have come up with some things that we think are necessary to make housing better for young renters, and indeed all renters. They are not exhaustive and we always welcome more suggestions.
Over the next year we’ll be collecting experiences of renting in the city and developing our campaign so that in the City Council elections of 2018, we have something serious to hold our elected representatives to account with. This is our renters’ charter, will you sign up to it?