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Ban evictions and clear tenant arrears with public cash - latest demands

Activists in the Generation Rent group have made seven demands on government including a rent freeze, the clearing of tenants’ arrears, and yet another ban on evictions.

A statement from the group - led by Baroness Alicia Kennedy - claims renters are bearing the brunt of rising prices. 

It cites the Office for National Statistics revealed that 59 per cent of renters were finding it difficult to pay energy bills in March.

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Generation Rent says nearly half of tenants responding to a government survey are already spending less on food and essentials.

“While home owners could be hit by rising rates, renters have it worse” says the group.

It claims a third of renters reported that their rent had increased in the past six months and six per cent of tenants are now in arrears.

Generation Rent is calling on the government to:

- Ban increases in rent for the duration of the cost of living crisis;

- Suspend the use of Section 21 evictions, where the landlord does not need a reason to evict, and Section 8 Ground 8 evictions, where tenants in more than two months’ of rent arrears cannot challenge an eviction;

- Unfreeze Local Housing Allowance so benefit claimants can pay the rent – rates are frozen at 2019-2020 levels;

- Restore Discretionary Housing Payment funding to 2020-21 levels, when £180m was available for renters struggling with housing costs;

- Reinstate the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift;

- Ban landlords from demanding multiple months’ rent up front – a tactic used to deny benefit claimants a home;

- Increase funds to clear tenants’ rent arrears from the £65m provided in October 2021.

 

And Baroness Kennedy says: “Although interest rates are rising, home owners are able to minimise costs by remortgaging. Renters don’t have the same option: if your landlord thinks they can get a higher rent from a new tenant, there’s not much you can do. 

“If you try to negotiate, your landlord can simply serve a Section 21 no-fault eviction notice.

"With renters so vulnerable to rent hikes and incomes stagnant, this causes impossible choices between paying rent and putting food on the table. Without a suspension of evictions and a rent freeze, the cost of living crisis will lead to spiralling rent arrears and homelessness for thousands of families.”

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    Demands 3, 4, 5 and 7 look perfectly reasonable.
    Demand 6 is a bit shaky. If someone can't provide a UK homeowning guarantor or fails a credit check there isn't really much of an alternative if we're not willing to take a massive risk.
    Demand 1 is highly problematic. We've all seen what happened to the gas and electric industries when they weren't allowed to charge the necessary amount to stay in business. Mortgage rates are rising, which means our Section 24 tax hit is also rising. Tradespeople and materials costs are rising, insurance, the costs of bringing properties up to EPC C are all factors beyond our control. Just because rents increase doesn't mean landlords are making more profit.

    Demand 2 (if I've read it right) goes some way on arrears based evictions. If two months arrears is an automatic, unchallengeable ground for eviction it will help a lot of people (both landlords, tenants and prospective tenants).
    If it makes UC or Housing Officers work in a more timely fashion it would prevent the need for thousands of evictions. However, a lot of evictions are for other reasons. Anti social behaviour being one of them. One bad tenant can cause fear and misery for the whole neighbourhood.
    Then there's the fact sometimes landlords just need the house back. Either to sell it, upgrade it or to protect their own mental health. A tenant may not actually be seriously breaching the tenancy agreement or upsetting the neighbours but they can be causing huge mental stress to the landlord with bizarre behaviour and demands.

  •  G romit

    What next from GR? They'll be calling for Landlords to provide properties for free, typical of the "entitled" culture.
    Perhaps they should re-brand " Entitled Generation Rent"

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    May as well just leave the keys in the door!!!

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    And a 'Welcome to your new home' food parcel in the kitchen combined with a credit of £100 on the electricity supply to enable you to cook the food, anything less would be churlish.

     
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    Most can't cook.

    If you left raw food they either wouldn't recognise it or complain you were trying to poison them!

     
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    So, let me get this straight: one of the many anti-landlord groups who had previously criticised us for being ‘subsidised’ by receiving public funds, now demands that… errr… we should receive even MORE public funds…?? I must say, I can hardly keep up with all the contradictory messages the anti-landlords have. it’s almost as if they don’t know what they want!

  • icon

    I have not seen a business so regulated as is the private sector renting housing (PSRH). Food industry dictates what should be legislated, PSRH does not. The current NRLA and other organisations are toothless. The claimed statement statement from baroness Kennedy does not make business sense. Can you imagine food, energy, textiles, etc industries borrowing money to pay interest debt which is not an expanding debt? Where these industries would go? Just bankruptcy or end up selling the business to a much larger ones!
    We are in business and we should be dictating the high minimum standards. Any central gvt legislation should be thoroughly discussed and agreed with the PRSH in the first place.

    The gvt is there to protect the weak and infirm sectors of the society, but none of previous gvts have done so and unlikely to do it. We are in the business to remind the gvt of their obligations and stopping blaming us.

    My great frustration is there are over 2.5 M small landlords (£500 billions 2 property each @ £100K) and there is nothing organised to protect the PSRH business. Big landowners are loughing at us, they will get our properties much cheaper to a gift price!
    We should be concentrating in protecting ourselves, at present the dice are loaded against us and I envisage a 30% of the small PSRH will be surrendered within the next 10 years to the smiling big ones.

  • Reaper Cushions

    If any potential tenants would like a free pony, an annual subscription to Ben & Jerries and my credit card, just ask.

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    So now they don't just want to rob the landlord but the hard working Joe public through his income tax to finance the free riding low life out there

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    Wouldn't the proposal mean that all tax payers were taking a hit INSTEAD of just landlords? If the arrears were cleared or didn't happen in the first place wouldn't that be a good thing?
    Maybe tax paying friends and family of non paying tenants would be saying a few harsh words to them?
    Maybe the activists have realised it's far cheaper for the tax payer to keep people in their long term homes rather than having to pay for hotel accomodation or emergency hostels.
    Some people are undoubtedly free riding low life's as you say but vast numbers of low income tenants are what used to be known as "Salt of the Earth".
    They're genuinely decent people working long hours for very low pay in jobs that no one else wants. Just one unforeseen emergency can completely derail their finances. The £20 UC uplift would make a huge difference, as would discretionary funding and restoring the LHA to at least the 30th percentile rent.
    As a tax payer I would far prefer my taxes were used to enable people to afford secure long term homes than the myriad of half baked ideas the government currently waste it on.

     
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    Everything is the landlords' fault. The tenants are ENTITLED to EVERYTHING they could ever want.

  • girish mehta

    It is a con . The tenants had housing allowance. Rent were frozen . The government gave all the help. Tenent’s did not pay rent and spend rent . Now they want government to pay more money and punish landlords for housing them. Disband these silly organisations and use the money for NHS. Let the Tenants live in real world and manage their affairs prudently. Inflation effects everyone . Landlords cannot keep on paying higher taxes . Keep subsidising tenants and upgrade their properties if there is no return and only stress . More to life . Landlords will eventually sell up. Tenent’s will end moving on to major cooperation with their tiny flats . In a massive tower block , living in a prison like environment.where they will pay over odds for their place and wont have choice to break their tenancy contract.
    Housing market is broken. And shelter are leading the government into legislation which will be detrimental to the long term interest of Tenent’s. The tenants need to live in real world .and not listen to minority
    Of tenants. Most of survey would find appropriate 80% of Tenent’s and land lords are satisfied with the service provide. It is only the minority who think the world owes them a living

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    Let us add in another “ demand”….. the landlord provides a free pink Unicorn at the start of the AST. … Gen Rent have been on Weed for far to long.

     G romit

    GR (and Shelter) are like a spoilt brats, whose 'parents' (Government) give them everything they demand never say "No" and so just demand more and more, with each demand being more outrageous than the last.

     
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    The above demands are mostly BS - most of their demands centre around giving more and more tax payers money to those who are struggling (either directly or indirectly) - why should a hard working person be subsidising so much?

    The PRS is fit for purpose, in that my properties are fit for the purpose I bought them for and for the people I chose to rent them to. They are not fit for the purpose of social housing. My properties are nicely decorated, in nice areas and there is a premium to be paid for that which someone who is not working can not afford. This is not my fault because I am not the government. It’s a joke that the government are trying to shoe horn BTLs into serving the purpose social housing used to. This problem is the governments as they do not provide enough social housing, they have not invested enough, they have not freed up enough land. By trying to be the sticking plaster, we are just enabling the irresponsible behaviour and bad decisions of the government.

    What I do with my properties has nothing to do with any activist, union modelled charity - they are hassling the wrong people and if they had any sense of right and wrong they would be holding the government to account for its failure to provide enough social housing.

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    Steve Austin - well said.

  •  G romit

    GR (and Shelter) are like a spoilt brats, whose 'parents' (Government) give them everything they demand never say "No" and so just demand more and more, with each demand being more outrageous than the last

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    When both my daughters first passed their driving tests they were at 6th form and had the use of my little van (206) which had the reg 13RAT, their teachers were quick to put the 1 &3 together to make BRAT which of course they found amusing, I've since sold that plate, maybe some one from GR or Shelter now has it on their car, wouldn't that be appropriate ?

     
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    I don’t see it as a shortage of Social Housing more an over Supply of Benefit Claimants created by the Benefit System. I now see a Third Generation of Benefits Claimants, it’s has become expected never knew any other way, their right handed down from parents & grandparents.

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    That's very true Michael

     
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    I have never thought of it quite like that but you have hit the nail squarely on the head.

     
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    Unfortunately all the main stream parties are communists and don't want private property.

    George Dawes

    You hit the nail on the head, they're all just following orders , looking at the last 2 years that's plainly obvious now ...

    And people still believe in democracy ? what a joke

     
  • icon

    For those who desperately need help. Forget UC, keep it simple, housing benefit paid direct to landlords and food stamps. They will then have a roof over their heads and food on the table. If they want anything else they will have to work for it.

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    In an ideal world John, which we will never see

     
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    I agree this would be better, also direct payments for gas electricity water and council tax. Problem with any sort of vouchers, there would probably be a black market as they will get traded by some for cash to pay for other things....sad to say

     
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    I have been offered vouchers at half face value because they were not valid for cigarettes and alcohol.

     
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    I don’t want housing benefit paid direct to me, as when the tenant defrauds the system I have to pay back the house benefits through “claw back”.

     
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    Not necessarily so if you can demonstrate that it was the tenant who committed the fraud without your knowledge.

     
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    John spot on, I have some away on holidays in foreign parts but Rent outstanding, they shouldn’t have the option of spending Rent on Holidays, but it’s what Gov’ wants to let them manage their money / my money.

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    Yes Mr Foley, the Johnson government supports fraudsters ! It's ok of you rip your landlord off !

  • girish mehta

    Cut the chase . Give them housing for free. Feed them for free. Take care for them from birth to grave . And they will still find something to winge about. The think the whole world owes them a living because the were born.

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    The world only owes you the right to earn a living.

     
  • girish mehta

    The thatcher government gave up on them, got rid oh houses at knock down prices . Councils have it to housing association. They failed now it’s turn of landlords. The politicians only want to use them of votes

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    I like the idea of universal basic income and scrap the benefit system. Wales and Scotland are talking about doing pilot schemes.

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    UBI seems like a very good idea (also known as negative taxation), give everybody enough income to exist with no means test. Those with any ambition will work to earn extra for those little luxuries, butter in place of margarine.

     
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