Generation Rent calls for rent freeze to fight rising bills

Generation Rent calls for rent freeze to fight rising bills

8:50 AM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago 13

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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.

‘Renters cannot afford to be blindsided’

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.

Asked to pay a higher rent

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.

Concerned about paying the rent

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.



Comments

Martin Thomas

9:50 AM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

So let's get this straight. While tenants can secure a pay rise each year, perhaps up to 10% this year, landlords are not entitled to increase their income? Where is the logic?
Is Generation Rent going to campaign for the government to freeze the price of Cornflakes as well?
Also, if only 45% of tenants experienced an increase in rent then that means a very lucky 55% did not - which part of that doesn't she understand?

Anne Nixon

10:13 AM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

So with the rises in the cost of living affecting landlords just as they do the rest of the population, coupled in addition with steep rises in mortgage rates, Alicia Kennedy would like landlords to freeze their incomes?
Does she also feel that Tesco should be doing the same? British Gas? Shell? McDonalds?
Or are landlords the only ones who she feels should be sucking up steep rises in their own costs while keeping prices the same for their customers?
Will Alicia have a wage rise this year I wonder? (and FWIW I am one of the 55% who so far haven't raised rents).

The Forever Tenant

10:37 AM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

One of the things to note is that there are active campaigns for the freezing of Gas, Electricity and food bills, just by organisations other than GR.

I'm not sure about others, but my salary has certainly not gone up by 10% this year. It may only be a few outliers that this has happened to and where it has happened, it seems to be in sectors where there has been a freeze on pay increases for several years so effectively it's all of them at once.

I guess that the argument is that landlords should take on some of the burden instead of passing it on wholly to their tenants, who are less likely to be able to afford such increases.

JB

10:50 AM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

£100pcm rent increase sounds pretty resonable where mortgages have probably gone up around £200pcm since January 2022.

Then there's increasing insurance, service charge, maintenance etc before we even get started on OUR increase in pay

Mick Roberts View Profile

11:07 AM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

These people. They called for No evictions during Covid. And look how they paying for that now.
Every time they shout to stop the Landlord what he wishes to do with his own assets, more Landlords think Hang on, it's mine & I can't collect rent when I want, charge what I want, sell when I want, I'm out of here. Less supply. Remaining Landlords charge what they like.

You'd have less increases & evictions if u called to get rid of Section 24, Selective Licensing, UC direct payment & the list goes on.

I have no competition. Thanks Generation rent, u r making me a multi millionaire. But hang on, what about the tenants? What about their lives & the next 1000's of tenants that want a home? Cause mine can't ever leave me ever again. No one will take them. And the rents the other Landlords are charging are extortionate. Just as I would charge what I can get off new people I don't know as I don't where the next Anti Landlord attack is coming from.

By the way, many of mine are paying £550 when all surrounding rents are £800. I have told them though, if Nottingham Labour imbecile Council Selective Licensing gets renewed, they must have minimum £25pm rent increase. But I have said to the Council the below to which they haven't replied. And Generation rent ought to be getting involved in this, as this is where your extortionate rents are coming from:

What do tenants get for their rent increases that have ZERO problems? That already have a nice house?
Can the landlord pay £10 a month then?
Take me for example, at that £630 u mention above, will cost me over £57,000 just in your fee alone. How long have I got to pay that?
I don't even want my houses any more, I'm only keeping it for the tenants, so u can be sure I won't be paying for it.
So u do acknowledge it may cost the tenants £10pm.
Are u aware Benefit tenants in Nottingham can't get a house any more? Cause of Licensing?
When I pay this £57,000 in one go I presume? Is that it? No paperwork to do?
No form filling in?
Can u explain to my 68 year old tenant who has lived there for 20 years why she has to have inspections every 4 month's? And give her anxiety. Is she a criminal?

Tell u what, ring me tomorrow, I'll pay your £57,000 and I PROMISE to give zero tenants a rent increase if that is ALL I have to do. No paperwork. No form filling in. No inspections. No 100 hours sending u documents and forms.

NewYorkie View Profile

12:05 PM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 30/08/2022 - 10:37
Rent freeze...for how long?
Pause evictions... for how long?
What happens when a landlord cannot pay their mortgage, service charges, etc...?

I managed to finally evict a tenant in July 2021, who decided to stop paying his rent in March 2020, even though he had a higher income than me, plus SEISS grants, plus housing benefit. I had not increased his rent and he refused to engage on a payment plan because he knew the courts were closed, and I couldn't touch him. When I did serve notice, he pulled the 'covid' card, and when that didn't work, he tried 'mental health'. All the while, he was being 'advised' by Citizens Advice and the Council, and no doubt Shelter and Generation Rent. The loss to me was in excess of £25,000. I have now sold, and will sell my final property because, as I said on the BBC recently, I am not a social housing provider or a bank.

Generation Rent needs to decide what is most important to renters. A safe, secure, roof over their heads, or heating and eating. Because, one allows them to turn down their heating and wear warm clothing, while the other leads to eviction, destruction of credit ratings, poor references, inability to find work or future rented property, and a life in cold, miserable circumstances.

The Forever Tenant

12:52 PM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

One thing I will say is that I understand the frustrations, but it may be prudent to think about the wording that is being used on the comments here as they could be used against you if not provided with context.

For example "Thanks Generation rent, u r making me a multi millionaire" - Well that just points towards the greediness of landlords.

"Generation Rent needs to decide what is most important to renters. A safe, secure, roof over their heads, or heating and eating" - Sounds like you want to charge your tenants as much as you can and you would rather them starve, than not pay the rent.

Though I will also say, that having to live in a property with no heating and only the basics of food also sounds like cold, miserable circumstances.

NewYorkie View Profile

13:07 PM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 30/08/2022 - 12:52
I take your point, but many of the comments made are cynical, because we are helpless when government decides to act in the renter's favour.

I didn't increase rents for 4 years, and increased my remaining rent by only £45pm. This doesn't cover my costs, but the tenant is a single mum and has paid her rent without fail, despite being made redundant at the start of lockdown.

I was brought up in a house without heating or a bath, and when I had my first child, we lived in a cold and damp flat in a shared house (no benefits!). You simply adapt. The problem today is most renters have never experienced that sort of hardship, and don't know how to/don't see why they should adapt.

The Forever Tenant

13:12 PM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

I do hate the idea that because the previous generation had to go through these difficult conditions, that the current and future generations should as well.

We should be evolving as a society to put behind us all the horrible conditions that people have had to suffer in the past, not staying stagnant and ensuring that everyone suffers equally.

I have experienced this hardship. My parents lost their house in the early 90's due to the economy, interest rates, unemployment etc. and I had a horrible time going from one property to the next, wherever we could get. I was 14 at the time and I really suffered. And I really really do not want anyone else to have to go through that. I toughed it out and I survived. Others... will not.

NewYorkie View Profile

13:24 PM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 30/08/2022 - 13:12
I am sorry you had to go through that, but as you say, you 'toughed it out'.

I'm not saying today's renters have to go through what we did, but like you, needs must when times are hard, and much as I wish it wasn't the case, they will get harder before they get better. They will have to tough it out and make sacrifices. But not paying rent should be the last thing they do, because a bad credit history will blight their lives.

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