12:19 PM, 14th November 2022, About 11 months ago 21
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called for an emergency private renting summit – but landlords aren’t invited.
He will bring together private renters, charities, advocacy groups and politicians to call on the Government to urgently tackle London’s spiralling rental crisis.
The call comes after a survey reveals that 40% of Londoners think they will struggle to meet rent payments in the next six months.
As part of the call, Mr Khan says the average advertised London rent has hit £2,343 – that’s more than double than other parts of the UK.
But the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) says the mayor must invite landlords if he wants to resolve the problem.
The mayor has also repeated his previous call for the Government to freeze rents in London.
He says that London’s tenants are facing ‘multiple crises’ from escalating rents, insecure tenancies and unsafe homes.
The mayor says he is making a ‘call to action’ for Ministers to immediately implement long-promised renters reform legislation to give tenants the security and safety they ‘urgently need’ – and to take action to make ‘rents more affordable’ for Londoners.
Mr Khan said: “London’s private renters are facing a triple whammy with rising rents, bills and the cost of household essentials putting a major strain on their finances.
“Ministers must take this crisis seriously and act now.”
He added: “There is no time to waste so we have come together to speak with one voice.
“Our demands to ministers are simple: implement your long-promised renters reform legislation and take action now to make rents more affordable for Londoners, using all powers at the government’s disposal.
“As we continue working to build a better, fairer London for everyone, it’s vital that we stand up for renters in our city and find common ground on the action that needs to be taken to support them through the cost-of-living crisis, pay their rent and keep their homes.”
Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, said: “When rents are rising on new tenancies, no private renter is safe.
“It is too easy for your landlord to demand a higher rent when they know they can evict you and re-let to someone else who is willing to pay it.
“People who don’t want to move are being priced out of their homes and forced to compete in this hellish market. And the cost-of-living crisis is making it even worse.”
She added: “The government can alleviate rising living costs for renters immediately with a freeze on rents on existing tenancies and suspension of Section 21 evictions so landlords can’t evict simply to re-let at a higher rent.”
Responding to the Mayor’s plans to hold an emergency summit on the private rented sector, Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the NRLA, said: “It is disappointing in the extreme that the Mayor of London feels he can solve the challenges faced in the capital’s rental market without any input from those who actually provide the homes.
“The stark and simple reality is that whilst the demand for private rented housing in London continues to increase, the supply of such homes is falling.
“This is a direct consequence of Government policy aimed at shrinking the size of the sector, along with rhetoric from the mayor that suggests private landlords are simply a problem to be managed.”
He added: “If the Mayor wants to address the cost pressures faced by households across London, he needs to focus on boosting the number of homes available.
“Anything else would merely be tinkering with the symptoms of the challenges in the rental market, without tackling the root cause of them.”
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