Call for a rent freeze because ‘landlords can afford it’

Call for a rent freeze because ‘landlords can afford it’

11:10 AM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago 79

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An open letter has been signed by rent activists, trade unions and several Labour Mayors, including Sadiq Khan, calling for the housing minister Michael Gove to implement a private rent freeze and an eviction ban in England to help tenants in the ‘current rental crisis’.

The letter stresses that since landlords earn an average of £55,415 – before rental income – they can afford not to increase rents.

The letter has been organised by the London Renters’ Union (LRU) and highlights that half of private renters in the country are struggling with their housing costs – and ‘huge numbers of renters are facing homelessness in the coming months’. In London, they say that four in five renters are struggling.

The open letter states: “Landlords, with the encouragement of letting agents, are using this crisis as an opportunity to introduce rent hikes. In September 2022 alone, one million renters faced a rent increase.”

‘Landlords will be struggling with increased mortgage costs’

The letter goes on: “Some landlords will be struggling with increased mortgage costs, but many will not.

“Generation Rent research shows that just 11% of rent increases in 2022 were the result of higher mortgage rates. Just under half of rental properties have a mortgage and most of those have ‘interest only’ mortgages.

“The vast majority of landlords have far greater financial resilience to weather the storm ahead, with the median annual income of landlords before their income from rent is taken into account at £55,415. In comparison, many renters are low paid, in precarious work and have no savings or assets.

“Some landlords that are facing increased mortgage costs are trying to pass those costs on to renters that simply cannot afford it.”

Signed by Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London

The letter has also been signed by several charities, think tanks and the Green party along with Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham as well as Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London.

A spokesperson for the LRU said: “Millions are being squeezed by falling wages and rising rents. The government has the power to protect people from unaffordable rent rises, but it is choosing instead to preside over a wild west rental market that is punishing the people who kept the country going through the pandemic.

“A rent freeze now is the only way to address the scale and urgency of the crisis, and would represent a step towards a stronger housing system that meets everyone’s needs.”

Cost of living pressures being faced by tenants

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said the government recognises the cost-of-living pressures being faced by tenants and has delivered £1,200 of direct support to millions of households over the past year, including £400 towards energy costs.

Another £1,350 of support will be going to the most vulnerable households over the next year.

The spokesperson added: “Evidence shows rent controls in the private sector do not work, leading to declining standards and a lack of investment – and may encourage illegal subletting.”

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Chris Bradley

12:30 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

I cant afford a rent freeze, this will squeeze small landlords out, demand will increase, supply will drop and new rental agreements will have higher than ever rents.
My income is less than 20K and that includes my rental profit. I haven't been greedy and look after my tenants, and my rent increases have been less than inflation and don't reflect the market rent as I feel a duty to my tenants.
Those who have held back rent increases will be the ones most hit by a rent freeze. There will be a scramble to get rent increases in before any legislation and section 21 to empty a property to put someone in at a higher rent.

Low profile landlord

12:38 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Bradley at 24/02/2023 - 12:30
Former chancellor George Osborne increased taxes on landlords. Why don't rid of these tax increases?

How many councils have introduced landlord licencing as a money making scheme?

I have had to upgrade my electric meter to a metal box, which was previous upgraded with RCD?

They keep introducing regulations which is increasing costs?

Paul Essex

12:38 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

So landlords without this extra income would be exempt from the legislation then.........

Sorry got distracted by a flock of pigs flying past the window.

Martin Roberts

12:39 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

Might as well demand a freeze in food and energy prices because Tesco and British Gas 'can afford it'.


12:39 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

Well MrKhan,it’s time you went just who do you think you are .Maybe you would like to explain to my 6 tenants why they are about to be homeless ,because if I can’t pay my mortgage I certainly are not putting a roof over someone’s else head.

Graham Turrell, Landlord & Entrepreneur

12:43 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

What latest madness this is. As we surely know, it's just a question of who has the ear of the policy makers, and the reasons why. Full facts, it would seem, are a disposable casualty in the process when they deviate from the prevailing narrative.


12:51 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

If these incompetent mayors are so keen on subsidising tenants why don't they pay them.


12:56 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

The dissapointing part of this is mayor's singing up to this. I suspect they do this in order to gather personal support and votes rather than having a true belief in the strategy. If they do believe in the strategy then it demonstrates they don't understand the market and are happy to further deplete the availability of rental properties especially for those that will not be able to purchase their own property due to inability to afford either the deposit or mortgage payments. These civil servants and politicians are by implication creating a growing social housing problem and not taking responsibility for solving it. "Nothing to do with me guv, it's the landlords that are the problem". I have a dream: there will be politicians that are capable of doing their job.


12:57 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Roberts at 24/02/2023 - 12:39
Always makes me laugh that Landlords (the majority of which own one property, usually as a consequence of moving in with a partner) can afford it whilst big business cannot. not paying £500 rent is considered absolutely fine to do. What would happen if you walked out of tesco with £100 worth of groceries?


13:10 PM, 24th February 2023, About A year ago

This is madness at a time when we need more good quality landlords and rental properties.

This will now act to drive quicker rent increases and evictions before any such controls come into play.

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