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



2:46 AM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

I've started selling my couple of property lets. One house is gone, tenants were really disappointed they had to leave, as they had made a nice home for their children and were getting the house for at least £300 under market value. That property was downgraded from an EPC C to a D and along with my mortgage tripling, I couldn't justify keeping the property. Bank and agent have taken their fees, along with the solicitor and I've now got to pay Capital Gains Tax on the small profit I made. I'm slightly worried that will mean I won't be able to claim mortgage interest back on the other property (which will mean paying tax on a loss?!) Just had an EPC back on the other property which has also been downgraded from a C to a D, the mortgage is also due for renewal later in the year. That one will probably have to go to. Having paid enhanced stamp duty 18 months ago, along with mortgage and bank fees, repairs getting the property ready, solicitor fees, boiler CP12, EICR, insurance, agency and clerk fees, I don't really want to sell so soon. Particularly as I spent months looking for the property and providing paperwork to the mortgage broker, as well as weeks myself physically getting the property up together. It's technically not made a profit yet. The tenant is happy where he is, he has enough money to buy a house but has decided to continue renting.

m feroz

7:19 AM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Looks like no job rather than bringing more laws which create problems further.
I request build more houses by councils and help people rather than targeting landlords

Rebecca Anelay

8:51 AM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by JamesB at 25/02/2023 - 12:48
I feel exactly the same James. My son's house has had about 10k worth of damage done but at least the tenant is gone. ...We bought it with our pensions so our son would always have a home.
lesson learned, It's on the market now as the stress has been horrendous. So sorry for you. What did we ever do to deserve this? Except work, save, and go without to try to build for the future.

Glynn Jones

9:05 AM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Cocks at 24/02/2023 - 22:00
We only pay tax on profit - no profit , no tax; simples.


9:12 AM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Sold at 26/02/2023 - 02:46
Sorry to hear of your situation but why was the EPC downgraded ?

Abraham George

10:32 AM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Illegal subletting will be final outcome of any forced Govt policies on the UK landlords ! Estate agents will slowly be disappearing from this service sector industry on the whole as well !

Taifoor Chaudhry

12:01 PM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Roberts at 24/02/2023 - 12:39
Exactly 100% agree if LL is not a business then food and energy is also a basic human right

Jerry stone

12:57 PM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Low profile landlord at 24/02/2023 - 12:38
Quite agree.
Just faced an average cost of £1,500 a property to upgrade a perfectly good fuse box because the regulations have changed. No private owners have to do this.
I've started selling properties to reduce debt.
Shame as most of my tenants have been with me nearly 20 years.
Where are they going to go?

Alan Champion

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

During Covid-19, many landlord's suffered significant losses as a result of some tenants taking advantage of delays in eviction by not paying rent even while working. Also, some landlords chose not to increase rent for the past 3 years. If landlords are renting rooms inclusive of bills, they will need to increase rent and yet remain competitive.

Ultimately, landlords with only one or two properties may have to sell up and reinvest their capital if rental income does not give sufficient an income as before, such was perhaps their choice of investment previously instead of a personal pension.


16:44 PM, 26th February 2023, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by PH at 26/02/2023 - 09:12
I'm not sure on 2nd property yet but 1st property was downgraded, 1 because the double glazing throughout is older (so is given a lower score unless replaced with new double glazing) and 2 because the previous owner did a small rear extension which has a "flat" roof and so slightly reduces the houses overall insulation. End result is now C to D.

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