A council says the private rental market is “out of control” and he wants rent controls - but nonetheless is asking landlords to step forward and help combat its shortage of homes.
Andy Batsford, lead councillor for Housing and Homelessness, has appealed for local landlords to assist with what he calls “the growing rental market emergency” in Hastings, where over half of the town population is in rented accommodation.
He claims there has been a nine per cent rise in rents this year, following up to 40 per cent in recent years.
"These rent increases are proving to be a disaster for our local families and residents who are seeing their lives devastated by the burden of huge monthly rent bills. These are now well over half of their wage packet and that's before all the other bills and costs.
"This situation is driving family after family into debt, break ups and ultimately making people homeless and needing to seek help from the council.
“Every single case includes individuals and children in desperately unhappy and unhealthy situations not being able to go to school, or family life breaking down due to the stress of money and not having a safe roof over their heads.
"This rental market is out of control and broken, pricing family after working family out of the opportunity of the most basic need - a safe, secure home. There just are not the rented homes out there on the market to rent at real affordable prices, forcing working families to stretch their finances. We as a town need to come together and support and help our fellow families.”
Therefore he says he is putting out “a massive call” to local landlords to offer properties to the council instead of to a letting agent.
He says: “This will ensure that local families currently in temporary accommodation have a safe and secure home and can get back to work and the children back to school and some sort of normality."
Landlords who rent via the council will get guaranteed rent for three years, even if the property is empty. The council will also be responsible for the upkeep and repair of the property and return it as it was after three years.
Batsford says his council is campaigning to draw attention to and need for a rent cap system “that they enjoy across Europe.”
Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.