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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12:48 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

It is hard to predict what sort of a disaster this constant barrage of socialist, left wing, one-sided, nonsense will result in on a macro level. I don't know why so many supposedly intelligent people can't see it. We all knew "levelling up" would only ever be achieved by "levelling down."
However, I can do my tiny bit to help explain. on a micro level:-
I have some tenants in receipt of full LHA renting a 3 bedroom house from me. They don't look after the house, not maliciously,more through sheer uselessness, and often don't/can't pay their top up part of the rent but are happy and made a life there for the last 10 years. Because "I could afford it", I let the rent shortfall slide.
Since they moved in though so much has changed. S24 came in, EICRs, Deregulation Act, removal of wear and tear allowance, LHA got frozen, covid eviction bans etc etc
All the vitriole and rules that have come our way over the last few years, along with the fear of physically needing to make their Victorian house an epc C from an epc D with them and their mess in it, pushed me over the edge and I threw myself into the very painful s21 process, whilst I still could.. (A terrible year long experience itself). Bailiffs are arranged for 3 weeks time.
Neither the tenants nor I have any idea where they will go. They were paying £1400 pcm(if they paid their bit), The current rent on a similar property is now £2000pcm.
If I had been left alone to do my thing, which I have been doing successfully for nearly 30 years, they would still have a home. The market rent would probably still be nearer £1400pcm still too as far less of it would be going in higher taxes and fees.
The even bigger thing is that going through this pocess has fully opened my eyes as to just how badly landlords are treated and now the rest of my quite large portfolio if houses is going too.
Some people need to very quickly wake up and realise that whereas a lot of tenants have to be tenants, most landlords don't have to be landlords.

Jules Harman

13:03 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Like many landlords that rely on rent and don't treat as a supplemental income freezing our income whilst all around are striking for pay increases does not help.

The landlord market is shrinking due to Government policies driving them out. Demand isn't dropping. So anyone with above GCSE Economics (Doubt any of those who signed the letter have any such training) the pressure will be on rental prices. This is pure market economics.

Freeze rents or ban eviction will further fuel rent t think an official freeze will pan out to reality in a market where demand is outstripping supply.

Put simply why are Landlords demonised when She'll, BP etc are making bumper profits ?

Why are air b&b owners not affected? We provide a small number of clean, warm, and homely rented properties for those who want to live in an area not visit on holiday and have a property empty in non holiday times.

We are thinking of getting our of the market after 15 years .

It's getting worse and worse. For some reason people like the London Major see us as the bourgeoisie and they are the knights in shining armour supporting the proletariat....

Put simply, banning evictions is like allowing us to walk into a shop, pick up items and walk out saying we can't afford to pay for said items.

I'll get off my soap box and on with life now. And shut down to all this ethereal non evidence based policy making ...

Paul Routledge

13:24 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Ha ha ha ha what a absolute bunch of short sighted w#####s more landlords will sell, less will complete works, more will try and cheat the tax man out of his bit and so on and so forth until they don't have any rental stock left.

I tell you what, why don't they write a letter to stop the profiteering huge banking and oil companies from making billions off of the back of this economic collapse before they try and rip off Mr and Mrs Joe average off who are just trying to make a extra few quid to give themselves and their children a better life or just trying to make enough to cover their own bills.

Welcome to the UK the so called capitalist democracy that is actually bordering on being a full blown socialist state

Accommodation Provider

15:18 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Landlords just trying to recover from pandemics where politicians tell tenants they can have a rent holiday as landlords get a mortgage holiday (yeah right...) leaving big losses ..... courts are as dilapidated and slow as NHS so s 21 ir nit you're suffering as a landlord.... big companies cannot do better than caring landlords.... will big companies let themselves be bullied and robbed like us little landlords ?? Anyway if this happens I will start shoplifting as that's OK too then

Hardworking Landlord

15:40 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

The first of my buy to let’s goes on Rightmove next week. I have chosen not to increase the rent, but sell up before labour get in.

Pamela Young

15:52 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

I'm in Scotland; this is already happening. An eviction ban was implemented in early 2020.
I started eviction proceedings last year for a clear (not to mention criminal!) breach of the lease in one of my flats. The tenant has been told by Shelter and the Council to stay put until she is made homeless, and has ignored the eviction notice. The next step is for the case to be heard in 3 or 4 months time by a First Tier Tribunal. If I'm successful, I then have to give the tenant 6 months notice. I've already spent £1,000 on legal fees with much more to follow if the tenant contests the application. Needless to say, they stopped paying rent as soon as the first eviction notice was served.
For the first time since 2020 the legislation on rent increases has been relaxed slightly. On 1 April I can give tenants 3 months' notice that rents will increase by 3% on 1 July. In the same time period, some of my mortgages have increased by 300%.
I'm about to start selling off my portfolio, thereby making people homeless who are also priced out of the market in Scotland as rents spiral. (Rent can only be increased for a new tenancy so prices increased massively).

30 years as a Landlord - ended by the dual challenges of EPC upgrades and Eviction bans. It's just too difficult.

Accommodation Provider

16:01 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Do politicians realize that having one tenant not paying - when of course the landlord must keep paying the mortgage - endangers dozens and dozens of tenants as the landlord can go bankrupt ? After Covid the government has created a communist state where tenants now honestly believe they can do whatever they like, leave without giving notice, not pay rent.... EPC upgrades ? They threw the builders out of the country with Brexit. Now we've got hundreds of thousands of illegal boat migrants costing 4 billion in housing cost alone to the taxpayer (that's us - we get taxed on our turnover, unlike Tesco and Shell). Those illegal migrants push up the cost of rent, should the NRLA not publicize that ? And Rishi wasted 60 billion on covid loan fraud (whilst not any help or financial support was there for landlords other than government advice to just forget about the rent and be really nice to tenants from your own wallet)


16:23 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Private landlords are constantly having an up hill battle dealing with stupid comments from someone who should know better.

In fainess I am against any landlords increasing rent significantly unless there is a valid reason. If they ever imposed a rent freeze like Scotland it would be so self inflicting.

The majority of the problems we are seeing with the rental market is down purely to this and past governments and until they undo S24 its only going to get worse.

Mick Roberts

16:35 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by JamesB at 25/02/2023 - 12:48
Exactly same as me again James B

We shun't let these tenants have cheap rent just cause we can afford to. But we do. But the Govt & Councils constant retrospective rules regs are making it impossible to carry on looking after them.
How we doing 30k of Insulation work to a 100 year old small house with tenants living in it to ripping up their floors to putting 10k heatpumps outside to be nicked on a house we don't want.

My Bailiff's going next week. 10 months. I'm getting on with tenant. Everything perfect my side paperwork surprisingly yet still TEN MONTHS. The court system is horrendous.

Very good quote:
A lot of tenants have to be tenants, most landlords don't have to be landlords.

Rebecca RAHMAN

19:33 PM, 25th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

I earn zero before rent from my tenants, they are a full time job as i am my staff. Where does this £55k come from??

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