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Lots of new readers on the mailing list this week, largely thanks to a tweet that blew up about the ridiculousness of Medway Council wanting to refuse a planning application from Medway Council to put solar panels on Medway Council’s offices. I’ll have more on that in the Friday edition of the newsletter. Today, something a little more personal on the experience that is trying to rent property in Medway.
Trying to find a home to rent in Medway isn’t easy.
Like most places, decades of abject planning failures have led to a constrained supply of homes, and very significant demand.
This has only got worse in recent years, as our brilliant high-speed trains made our towns a good destination for those seeking to relocate out of London. Two years of the pandemic has only accelerated this further.
There will be many of us for whom privately renting property is our only viable option. Social housing is inaccessible for the vast majority who could apply, and mortgages are out of reach thanks to crippling deposits, even if the monthly payments wouldn’t be so bad.
So private renting it is.
More and more of us are trapped in tenuous private rentals, with few rights, little security, and paying a fortune for often subpar properties that a landlord has no incentive to improve.
For context, in Medway, the average rental price in 2018 was over £1,000pcm, and it’s almost certainly higher than that now. Finding any property under £900pcm means resigning yourself to something fairly grim, and finding anything under £750pcm is nearly non-existent unless you are happy with a house share.
It’s gotten so bad in Medway that one person in Hoo is offering their shed as a rental for £700pcm:
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