Private renters are being hit the hardest by the cost of living crisis. Increasing market rents are encouraging landlords to force rents up on their current tenants - combined with the overall increase in the cost of living, private renters are facing a bleak winter.
That's why private renters need an emergency package of support, alongside the longer term measures under the Renters' Reform Bill.
We're calling on the government to introduce these protections:
1: Freeze Rents
Rents on new tenancies have risen by 12% nationally in 2022 and there is nothing stopping landlords from passing this on, regardless of whether their tenants can afford it. It is especially tough when the price of other essentials is rising at a similar rate. Freezing rents would allow renters to breathe and have a chance to continue to occupy their homes without getting into rent arrears. A rent freeze was recently enacted in Scotland - renters in England deserve the same.
2: Suspending Section 21 No Fault Evictions
To ensure that the rent freeze worked as successfully as possible, a suspension on no fault evictions is needed in order to stop landlords from simply evicting tenants in order to raise their rents regardless of any freeze.
3: Re-linking Local Housing Allowance to actual rents
For people who rely on Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, the cash available to pay rent (Local Housing Allowance) is frozen at 2019-20 levels, meaning that if their rent has risen they have to dip into the rest of their benefits to avoid getting into arrears.
Re-linking LHA to rents would ensure that the people least able to weather the economic storm are better protected. It puts them in a better position to pay for their rent while keeping warm and putting food on the table.
By enacting all of these measures, the government would protect the 11 million private renters who desperately need reassurance and support during this difficult time. Not only will this keep renters in their homes, but also strengthen the wider economy by easing the burden on local authorities and keeping people closer to their places of work.