These are the cheapest neighbourhoods to rent in London

Rental prices in London have skyrocketed and are double elsewhere in the country. So, if you're bound to the capital and need a place to live, these are the boroughs to look to
Rachael Smith

It's no secret that finding a rental property in London has become something of a charade of late, what with fierce competition coupled with ever-increasing costs. The madness that is the rental market in the capital has caused many – including our own columnist Eleanor Cording Booth – to ask the question, should I stay or go? However, many of us are tied to London for work and so, if you are looking to rent, where should you look these days for affordability?

A new report by HomeLet has answered this question by highlighting not just the average rental prices across London's boroughs, but also the annual increase in price. Topping the list of most expensive place to live in London for renters is, in a surprise to absolutely nobody, Westminster and Chelsea where rent averages £3,360 a month. Next down the list is Lambeth at £2,663 followed closely by Hammersmith & Fulham at £2,653 a month.

At the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest places to rent a house or flat in London now are Croydon, where you can expect an average of £1,471 a month, Redbridge and Waltham Forest with an average cost of £1,590 and Barking at £1,679. Of course, what the data shows is that people are having to move further and further out of the centre of London in order to keep their costs down.

While the average cost of rent in Richmond upon Thames and Hounslow puts it somewhere in the middle of the bunch (£1,920), it is the area with the smallest increase in prices over a year, at just 7.6%. That may seem like quite a lot, but compared to Barking's 21.2% rise, it's very modest. The growth in annual rent costs has far outstripped that of income rises, meaning Londoners are having to use a higher proportion of their earnings than ever simply to keep a roof over their heads. The average rent across London as a whole was £2,109 a month in July, compared to £1,037 in other areas of the UK, bringing us back to the question of when do you know it's time to leave London behind?