This is part one in an IBTimes UK series exploring London's worsening rents crisis, from sharing rooms to property guardians.

Part two: Bedroom sharing and couch-surfing on the rise in an overcrowded city

Part three: A home on the city's canal boats and the zen of emptying the 's**t box'

Part four: Even property guardians are being gentrified

Part five: 'I am looking for a slutty girl who wants to stay rent free in zone 1'

London housing
There is not enough housing in London to cope with demand so prices and rents are rising sharply Reuters

London's housing market is in crisis. A severe shortage of residential properties is forcing up house prices and rents. Buying a home in the capital is unaffordable for many without financial help from family or friends.

As a consequence, some Londoners are forced into smaller accommodation. Bedroom sharing is on the rise. More narrowboats are crowding the city's canals as each month goes by. Some people are finding cheap rent in property guardianship, living in the city's old offices or police stations to deter squatters.

"Successive governments have failed miserably to build the homes we need, pushing housing costs in the capital sky-high and leaving an entire generation stuck in insecure and expensive private renting," Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said.

"We hear from young families every day who are caught in a 'rent trap', paying out dead money to their landlords with hardly any money left over each month to put into savings.

"Worse still, some are forced to live in homes riddled with hazards and poor conditions. And, with the number of private renters increasingly rapidly as more and more are left priced out, things could easily get worse.

"The only way to give renters back the hope of a stable future is for politicians to roll up their sleeves and finally commit to building the homes we so desperately need."

Property typeLondon median monthly rent 2011 (£)London median monthly rent 2015 (£)% change
1 bedrooms950115521.58%
2 bedrooms1192140017.45%
3 bedrooms1350169525.56%
4 or more bedrooms2000250025.00%
All types1075135025.58%
Property typeEngland median monthly rent 2011 (£)England median monthly rent 2015 (£)% change
1 bedrooms4955256.06%
2 bedrooms5505958.18%
3 bedrooms6506753.85%
4 or more bedrooms1000117517.50%
All types5706005.26%

Source: Valuation Office Agency

IBTimes UK is running a series of features focusing on London's worsening housing crisis and they will look at how some Londoners are suffering while others are beating it. To kick off the series, here is a graphic showing the scale of the problem and how it has got worse over the past few years – and will worsen in the future.

Flipboard magazine: London's rents crisis series in full

Graphic by Luis Ouriach

London housing crisis new infographic
London\'s housing crisis by the numbers IBTimes UK/Luis Ouriach