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 4 weeks ago 79

Text Size

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.”

Share This Article


Jonathan Cocks

13:26 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

That is very scary, all these leaders looking to blame someone else for their failings.
It would seem these leaders of major Cities(with high salaries and little risk, and a great Pension on retirement) have no idea of the finances of the PRS! If Landlords make so much money and its THAT easy why don't they invest their 'hard earned?' cash in the PRS? Many banks now paying 4% interest for 1 or 2 years fixed why are we bothering? Where do these people and organizations find these headline statistics. We all know the saying 'LIES,DAMNED LIES and STATISTICS'. a phrase describing the persuasive power of statistics to BOLSTER WEAK ARGUMENTS. these headline stats are one sided and completely biased. they conveniently do not mention how many landlords have financial difficulties or homeowners with mortgages who are not landlords who are also struggling. the mayor of London in june 2021 (ref Daily mail and Independent ) both suggest he had a salary of £152734 pa.
a statistic from Economy & Politics> Economy reported a survey by recruitment firm Reed- dated FEB 9th 2023, suggested 'workers in London need a wage of £65,000, to combat the rising cost of living, and £49,300 now to live comfortably. so the figures of £54,415 in this context is in line with the market! although no reference to if this salary is London or somewhere else based. and these Landlords have worked hard to achieve this and paid their TAXES all the way to be able to achieve this i would suggest. i note the Mayor of Grt Manchester in Manchester evening news suggested the Mayor's salary be frozen at £110,000.
if a landlord is the CEO of his business surely it is ok for that person to have a reasonable salary. suggest the 2 Assistant Directors at SHELTER UK, earn between £58,733 and £71,513 per year. so why shouldn't a landlord earn a similar salary, for what ever reason and then in addition any profit for the additional work they do in taking risks in the PRS?
why are these leader calling for a rent freeze , why not the bonuses to the leaders, ie. Brt Gas who are not taking any personal risks with their own money and they are allowed to increase the costs of the products they sell across the whole population?

Miserable Old Git

13:39 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Why is it these left wing socialist organisations believe all landlords are earning more than the tenants they provide accommodation for.
Not all landlords have alternative sources of income, some like myself are unable to work through disability or ill health, others rely on rental income as a pension.
With mortgage interest rates increasing monthly, tax increases and additional fees required by labour controlled councils for selective licensing our income is being constantly reduced, we cannot rely on the state for assistance, as benefits with the exception of PIP are all to be means tested, so when your Tenants are earning £40,000 and you are earning less than £20,000 how are rent freezes justified, we are left with little option but to sell up.

As usual its typical socialist rhetoric that property ownership is theft that prevails, but it seems rather hypocritical when Some union leaders & Mr Khan are earning six figure salaries, Khan himself residing in a £3 million plus home and being driven around in a land rover.

Alexander Henry

13:59 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

What makes people think they'll stop at a rent freeze? On the Today programme a few months ago Mishal Hussein said: why do landlords need any rent at all - after all they've still got the property which will increase in value. Isn't that enough?

Property is theft! Although earning £300K a year for a 10 hour week isn't theft.


14:00 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Pigs and snouts come to mind when thinking of these mayor's.
This is all thanks to Sturgeon and her wee green poodle p.Harvie.
The Greens seem to be pushing this with zeal , I wonder why , maybe it makes them feel relevant.


14:26 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Roberts at 24/02/2023 - 12:39If this happens Im asking for eggs and tomatoes on top of rent payments!

Mark C

14:37 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Cocks at 24/02/2023 - 13:26
Well said Jonathan! I also wondered how much these guys earned. Mayor for Liverpool is 81k, 2 and a half times the average wage for Liverpool. I guess he would say he has great responsibility which of course PRS landlords don't - sarcasm 🙂
Hard working landlords, taking risks with their hard earned money to ensure they are not a burden on the state seems to be tantamount to committing a crime.
Once the tories celebrated entrepreneurial endeavours, now the PRS are the new bankers of 2008. Next we will be blamed for the shortage of rental properties as we head to the hills!


14:38 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Not sure if I posted a reply, but yet another crazy idea. How many of us earn that sort of money, where do they get their stats from? With a salary of £150+ is Khan chasing votes?
For me, it's just another foot on the accelerator pedal to get out and stay out of the PRS.


14:47 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Richie at 24/02/2023 - 14:38
Politicians need votes and therefore it's all about popularity and self interest. There are more tenants than landlords therefore the quick win from a politician perspective is to support a rent freeze. Now think about the stakeholders (i) Mayor : win - gets more votes (ii) tenant : loose - can't find affordable properties to rent (iii) landlord : loose - lower margins, (iv) tax payers : loose - have to fund relatively high cost social accomodation. Another example of "all about me" for politicians and civil servants.


15:04 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Shut the gob up Mr Mayor, no we can't afford to freez rents when cost of living is going up like crazy directly caused by your and Government's policies, your bl$$dy ULEZ charge for instance is not going to help anyone to start with so get rid of your greed and hike in public transport fairs, clean up your own filth first.


15:06 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Its a bit rich that a number of trade unions are said to be subscribing to this when at the same time calling their own members out on strike for more pay. In the words of the open letter, train drivers earn an average of £48,500 in the UK, (with many over £60k) so they can afford not to hold the country to ransom.

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now