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

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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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22:48 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

What about the landlords that simply cannot afford not to put the rent up. I am currently making a loss on one of my properties and haven’t put the rent up yet in 4 years, partly as I know my tenant will struggle if I do. But initiatives such as this will force me to increase the rent sooner than I otherwise would. All this landlord bashing by government is just making things worse for tenants.

Jonathan Cocks

22:58 PM, 24th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

i have just seen this on MSN news re a Daily Mail comment on Mayor Khan, over 200 comments so far there are many out there with similar opinions of Mayors in UK. where will he find the money for the school meal and after 1 year what meals will these children receive? such a short term vote getting piece of nonsense.

dont have time sadly to read all these comments

Mick Roberts

7:05 AM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Aah right, let's all save up, go without for years, so we can then go buy house for someone to live in & let's not us receive what we want or need for that house.
Last time I checked, we din't buy these houses to be a charity & give them for free or at cost. Although many of us are ending up being a charity.

We not the charity, we not the Govt. We've not recieved free taxpayer handouts for this.
Many of us have lost out in the early stages.
On some houses in 2007 I was losing £200pm each house-Is Khan gonna' give me that back first?
One recently I was paying £900pm mortgage to get it over with quicker, & the rent was £550pm-Who's paying me for that loss? Am I not allowed to make a profit now after losing for so many years?

What Khan is referring to is called a Council or a charity.

Anyway, what we finding is, many of us end up better off with the MP's talk, as more Landlords sell, our current tenants treat us better as they see their mates can't get anywhere. And should we get one empty, we can charge the earth-And we need to cause we never know where next attack is coming from. Tenant loses again courtesy of Govt.

When Corbyn shouted for Rent Holiday in March 2020, tenants are severely paying for that now.
And when they called for Rent evictions in Covid times, tenants are much worse off now for that.

Let's all stop airlines charging what they like when they have to, to cover their losses times. If we do, there will be no airlines.


9:20 AM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Call for an energy price freeze because "energy companies can afford it".

Won't ever read that headline, will we, despite the BILLIONS posted in actual net profit!

But somehow individual, small landlords - many with mortgages with recent interest rate increases and inflation, are supposed to shoulder rent freezes? The sheer double standards and hypocrisy of the UK government sickens me.


9:24 AM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 25/02/2023 - 07:05
Strange that you would blame Corbyn when he was never in the actual Government, but it was the Tories for the past TWELVE years who implemented all of the recent policies against landlords. Then you mention Khan like as if he's the one who has or will implement the changes he's proposing (he can't and won't).

Ultimately it has only been the Tories (and will be the Tories) who will implement such proposals.

Mick Roberts

9:33 AM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by M K at 25/02/2023 - 09:24
It wasn't strange when Corbyn stood up in parliament 25th March 2020 & asked for ban on evictions. 10 mins in. I can remember it like it was yesterday. He asked for Rent Holidays too. Many of us Landlords know this. I started to get my Benefit tenants asking for rent holiday & could they keep the rent the Govt was paying them, as they construed this as what Corybn was saying. 10 mins in.

I never said Corbyn was in Govt.

I agree, Tories have done all this crap-Along with the Labour Councils & along with being prompted to do more by Labour. I know nothing of Politics & am not political either as the Tories are really screwing peoples lives up with UC.

I mention Khan as if my eyes don't deceive me, he's in the subject of this article. And I too can remember him on TV a few weeks ago saying Landlords should let tenants off as some Landlords han't got mortgages.

Accommodation Provider

10:21 AM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

12% inflation means rents are becoming lower in real terms. Please explain to journalists and the public sleepy NRLA. Landlords have made less and less Osborne EICR EPC licensing by councils with ridiculous requirements. Landlords bled dry with taxes, extra requirements, endless expensive recurring safety certificates, public has no idea. Just moving sockets from skirting boards into walls at cost of 6k in one house... notwithstanding always good EICR certificates. After changing electrical distribution board first to new rcds now to new mcbos. Soon Landlords must change their houses to C epc or better (only Landlords of course, discrimination) with tenants in them ? And how do you do tgat exactly with old victorian houses.

Nick Howarth

10:27 AM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Bradley at 24/02/2023 - 12:30
Completely agreed. Everything you mention exactly describes my situation too. I'm a good landlord but am at the brink of calling it a day.

Fen Jen

10:28 AM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Graeme at 24/02/2023 - 12:56
Politicians dont have a job its a cse of who shouts loudest with the most inappropraite ideas wins.

Sell up take your money and retire to the sun. Impossible to make a profit unless you have a massive portfolio and can sell and buy new in a limited company and are prepared to waste money and time conforming with new regulations every few months.

These people will maybe be content when everyone is homeless.

Nick Cook

10:46 AM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Typical of politicians, this is the wrong solution to the wrong problem. Official statistics show that the furnished holiday letting has grown massively since the introduction of section 24. Why? S24 created an incentive for landlords to exit long term residential letting and buy into Furnished holiday letting (including Airbnb). This reduced long term rental stock, driving up rents. The solution is obvious - reverse s24 and apply it to furnished holiday lets. Incentivise Landlords to return to the long term residential market. Hotels would also benefit…

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