A Labour Mayor and a former Labour baroness have teamed up to call for rent freezes in London, claiming they slash landlords’ income by an average £3,000 a year.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has made the claim in his latest repeated call on government to give him the powers to freeze private rents for two years.
His analysis - based on estate agent Savills forecasts - shows that freezing private rents for two years would take £2,988 from landlords, with £881 in the first year and £2107.60 in the second year.
“Private renters make up nearly a third of everyone living in the capital and they are set to be hit by a devastating combination of price and bill rises. Too often the needs of private renters are ignored by both landlords and the government” says Khan.
“Rising fuel and energy costs – which will hit renters in energy inefficient homes the hardest – are already causing anxiety and stress, with a big rise in the energy price cap due next month. That’s why today I’m calling on ministers to give me the powers to stop rents rising in the capital, and help me to give people a chance to get back on their feet after the pandemic” he continues.
Generation Rent director Baroness Alicia Kennedy of Cradley was deputy general secretary of the Labour Party from 2006 to 2011 and was a Labour member of the House of Lords until taking up her Generation Rent post in 2020.
Now she says in support of Khan: “With the cost of living spiralling out of control, the Mayor is right that renters need more protections from unaffordable rent hikes.
“It's too easy for landlords to raise rent on tenants and it’s too difficult for renters to negotiate, or challenge a rent increase at a tribunal. Without intervention landlords can effectively evict their tenants by making their home too expensive for them to afford. The mayor needs powers to intervene for London's millions of renters.”
The statement from the two pro-rent freeze politicians state that Khan himself “has consistently been on the side of London's private renters, successfully campaigning for the government to end unjust letting fees, suspend evictions during the pandemic and put in a package of grants to help keep renters in their homes.”
Although various organisations have claimed credit for persuading the Conservatives to commit to the end of Section 21 evictions in that party’s 2019 election manifesto, Khan now says he was the key influencer - his statement says he has “secured a commitment that ministers will end 'no-fault' evictions for good.”
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