Can your job pay the rent?

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A publication by Darren Johnson, Green Party Member of the London Assembly.

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According to the Mayor's standard definition, your rent is affordable if it doesn't take up more than 35% of your take-home pay. For example, the average household in London earns an estimated £2,608 per month after tax, so an affordable rent for them would be anything up to £913pcm.

Most people, of course, just stretch to pay London's high rents. This means we can't save up for a deposit, spend money with local businesses, or even afford a basic quality of life. Amazingly, a young person working full time on the minimum wage doesn't earn enough for an affordable room in the average shared flat in any borough of London.

What can you afford?

You can use this map to pick the type of home you want and your income, and then find boroughs in London where average rents are affordable (less than 35% of take-home pay), slightly unaffordable (35-50% of take-home pay), extremely unaffordable (more than 50% of take-home pay) or completely impossible (rents cost more than you earn).

1. What do you want?

If I were looking for a... flatshare   one bed   two bed   three bed,
in the...cheapest quarter   middle (median) of the market

2. How much do you take home each month after tax?

And I earned as much as...
the average household in London (£2,608 per month)
a minimum wage worker (£913)           a living wage worker (£1,181)
a London Assembly Member (£3,134)  the Mayor of London (£7,257)
or enter your monthly take home pay:

3. You could afford the average two bed home in:


Average rents are...


Slightly unffordable

Extremely unaffordable

More than income

Let me know what you think

If you have views on the definition of affordability, and on steps the Mayor of London should take to make private renting more affordable for low waged workers, get in touch:

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Questions, questions, questions...

How did you work this out?
The Valuation Office Agency hold statistics on average rents by borough and by type of home. This tool takes the rent for every borough for the type of home you choose and divides it by the income you select. It can then colour the boroughs according to the level of affordability.

Aren't there cheaper parts in each borough?
Yes, of course there are. Unfortunately I can only get data at the borough level, so if you are really looking for cheap spots in Hackney or Merton you're better off looking at the London Rents Map or a company who specialise in that sort of thing. This tool was designed to illustrate just how expensive rents are in London, and the problems a full-time worker on a low wage will have finding a home.

This web page reflects my views as an individual Assembly Member and not those of the London Assembly.