London’s renters are buckling under the pressure of sky-high bills, with a third sinking into debt to make ends meet, research shows today.

It revealed that half of those renting in the capital were struggling occasionally or constantly to pay their monthly housing bill.

A separate study showed renters in London were twice as likely to have moved in the last 12 months than people elsewhere in the country.

The research was revealed a day after business leaders warned in a letter to the Standard that London’s housing crisis threatened to damage its “world-beating” technology and creative industries.

A survey of 739 London renters by YouGov for housing charity Shelter showed that, in the last year, 34 per cent had borrowed money from friends, family, a bank, credit card or payday loan firm to cover housing costs, with 54 per cent admitting they struggled to pay their rent from “time to time” or constantly.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “With rents rising relentlessly, far too many Londoners are having to fight hard to keep their heads above water.

Tens of thousands of people are being pushed out of the city, or are spiralling into debt just to be able to keep a roof over their heads.”

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that, over the last five years, London rents have soared by 20 per cent, while average pay has risen by just two per cent.

Research by the National Housing Federation shows that one in five families in London who were privately renting had moved in the last 12 months, more than double the rate in the rest of country.

The body is calling on the next Mayor to back a plan to build 100,000 homes run by housing associations.

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