8:50 AM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago 13
Campaign group Generation Rent is calling for the government to impose a rent freeze to fight the cost-of-living crisis.
They have carried out a survey which shows that nearly half of private renters have faced a rent increase in the last year.
And these rent increases are squeezing tenants’ finances even further as the energy price cap will lead to higher fuel bills.
Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, said: “With energy bills about to shoot up once again, renters cannot afford to be blindsided by an increase in their rent.
“The country faces the real prospect of millions of people being unable to find the money to cover rent, heat their homes comfortably and put food on the table.”
She added: “Ultimately that will lead to a further rise in evictions and homelessness.
“The government must intervene and temporarily stop landlords from raising the rent, as well as pausing evictions to keep renters in their homes.”
The organisation says it wants the government to suspend no-fault evictions – and make all other evictions discretionary – to stop people who fall into arrears for reasons beyond their control from being made homeless.
Their survey also reveals that nearly half of private renters who had lived in their home for longer than a year (45%) had been asked to pay a higher rent.
Of those, 81% are paying what their landlord asked for, with just 14% able to negotiate a lower rent.
Data from Rightmove shows that rents increased by 11.8% between the second quarter this year and 2021, which is worth £119 extra per month on the average rent, or £1,426 per year – twice the average increase in the energy price cap in April.
One in five renters (20%) who faced a rent increase in their current tenancy were asked to pay more than £100 extra per month.
Just over half of them paid it (54%), just 28% successfully negotiated a smaller increase, while 13% were forced to move out.
Tenants who faced a rent increase are more likely to be most concerned about paying the rent (32%) compared with paying energy bills, than those who have not had a rent rise (20%).
Concern about energy bills remains the highest concern for both groups – 43% of respondents who had faced a rent increase said paying utility bills was their biggest concern in terms of rising prices, rising to 49% of people who had not.
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