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Graham Awards


Evictions - Activist Baroness demands rent freeze, says worse to come

New government figures show 3,405 households in the private rented sector were evicted by bailiffs in England between April and June this year - up 39 per cent on the previous quarter. 

But Baroness Alicia Kennedy, who leads the Generation Rent campaign group, says the situation will get worse because of the cost of living crisis.

"The number of court orders for evictions for rent arrears has never been higher. This is the aftermath of the pandemic when many renters didn't get enough support to cover the rent and are now losing their homes” she says. 


"But it's going to get worse as energy bills climb further and more people face a devastating choice between paying rent, heating their home, and putting food on the table. Alongside a further package of financial support, the government must freeze rents and protect renters from eviction if they're struggling to stay on top of rent."

Shelter, too, says the autumn and winter may bring larger numbers of evictions.

The campaigning charity says its own research has discovered that almost two in three private renters say the current economic climate means that, if evicted, they’d struggle to afford the costs of moving. 

Shelter says far too many renters are struggling to make ends meet and are at risk of losing their home, and it wants government to reverse the housing benefit freeze “so it reflects real housing costs.”

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate comments: “People who don’t leave their home before the bailiff comes are the ones who have run out of options and have nowhere else to go. 

“Every day our emergency helpline supports people having to make impossible choices between putting food on the table or paying their rent. Housing costs are people’s biggest outgoing and those who have nothing left to cut back will soon be left with nowhere to call home. 

“The government must urgently unfreeze housing benefit so it covers the true cost of renting before more families are evicted and pushed into homelessness. Whoever becomes the next Prime Minister needs to get a grip and put ending the housing emergency at the top of their to-do list.”

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    Meanwhile I will continue to sell my properties in Wales as I do not accept the enforced new letting contracts, replacing our legally agreed tenancy agreements with tenants, being imposed on landlords in Wales by the Welsh Assembly. So far all those I have sold went to private buyers, thus reducing rental stock. At the same time there is virtually no property to rent available in my area of operation.

    • G W
    • 15 August 2022 07:13 AM

    I am in South East England and have come to same conclusion as I fear legislation will get worse as Governments use Landlords as scapegoats for their lack of social housing and perceived landlord bashing to win tenants votes…. My main concern is the CGT and that is only way they can stop landlords selling is too increase it so we don’t sell and tie us in adhering to any new legislation

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    I did a quick search last night for rental properties in my local area with a half mile radius, I am outside Manchester so not in the sticks……. 7 !! Yep all of 7 whole places to rent. They are on a hiding to nothing with their policy of hitting landlords and then wondering why we sell up…. Then hitting us some more 😂, they are morons. I can see not just a rent freeze being asked for, but an evictions ban !! Welcome back to the Pandemic 🥵🥵

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    I’m doing a S21 now before they decide to do a ban! Can’t trust Tories. Therefore can’t trust anyone.

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    Tenants should prioritise their spending - if they fail to pay their rent & get evicted they may never get another property. The only unpaid bill you can go to jail for is Council Tax. Water & utilities are prohibited from cutting you off. Difficult decisions but keeping a roof over your head is a must.


    Many seem to take the roof over their heads for granted, I once had a single mum tell me she couldn't pay September's rent because she had to buy her daughter's school uniform, she was gone by Christmas , I now have a blanket ban on single mums they have the attitude that we all owe them .


    As Tricia said, the rent of your tenant, Andrew, should have been her top priority. She could probably have bought a second hand uniform for her daughter. Also many local councils help with the cost of a school uniform and PE kit.

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    A rent freeze isn't the answer. With mortgage rates increasing and the potential cost of EPC upgrades it would just encourage even more landlords to sell up.

    The main problem is the LHA is woefully inadequate. Restoring it to the 30th percentile rent for properties of each size would be a good starting point. Before 2011 Housing Benefit was set at the 50th percentile of local rents. If tenants could find cheaper properties they could retain some of the difference between actual rent and the HB allowance. It certainly incentivised them to find and retain cheaper rentals.
    Reducing the geographical size of the BRMAs would also help. In rural areas they can be over 500 square miles. It's not reasonable to expect low income people to factor in a 25 mile journey to work.
    When the cheapest available 3 bedroom house to rent on Rightmove within a 5 mile radius of a city is £150 more than the LHA and the second cheapest is £325 more than the LHA there is clearly a problem with the LHA. Freezing it was yet another half baked idea Sunak came up with.

    People do need to budget and make spending choices but the basic framework of the system needs to be realistic in the first place.

    It's questionable if increasing the LHA would actually cost anything. The savings on temporary housing would be huge, if tenants weren't having to make up a rent shortfall they would be spending that money elsewhere in the economy on things with VAT and as most landlords have artificially been put in the higher rate tax band HMRC would get back 40% of the extra rent in extra income tax.

    While some landlords won't entertain the idea of housing people in receipt of UC others are perfectly happy to house low income key workers. My UC tenants include a nurse,
    a teaching assistant, a cleaning supervisor and a warehouse worker. All are good tenants and I have kept the rents at or slightly below LHA. Collectively that's over £1000 a month below market rent (or looked at another way nearly £5000 a year that HMRC isn't getting). As mortgage deals come to an end and if EPC C comes in rent increases are highly likely.

  • George Dawes

    Oh no , not her again

    Wonder how much she earns a year …


    No George, she doesn't earn, it's a case of how much she is paid, there's a big difference


    Ching ching ching all the way to the bank. Her, Polly F'ing Bleate, and Dan Wilson Craw. It's disgusting how little the charities actually get after all of the costs they waste and take for themselves. Their job is easy. Same script week in week out. Just bash out another sentence complaining (and NO SOLUTIONS) with these words:
    Heating or eating
    Ends meet
    Rent freeze


    I don't know why these people think that they have the right to interfere in contractual arrangements between private individuals. They should concentrate their attention on social housing.

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    What did they think would happen

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    They must know a Rent Freeze but it hasn’t worked haven’t we got it already, a big Reduction in income from Residential Property year on year.
    Regulatory Requirements is big Reduction is that not a Rent Freeze it wasn’t added on. Licensing Scheme’s took millions of pounds off Private Landlords virtually in every Borough in London & Nation wide as well, that’s a reduction a Rent Freeze.
    Section 24 tax grab is a Reduction, a Rent Freeze.
    Maybe I am not doing justice to Generation Rent & Shelter they are in favour of giving us a Rent Freeze which would be Fantastic unlike the serious Reductions and losses we have had to Absorb.
    Polly dearest do you not know anything about the Rental Business, you say people that wait for the Bailiffs have run out of options, do you not even know it’s a Sanction imposed on Tenants by Council to stay put until Bailiff’s arrive, it’s not run out of options but a requirement.
    Shelter says too many Renter’s are loosing their home, then why were they instrumental in forcing in bad Policy’s to cause this to happen.

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    If there are all these evictions now, freezing the rents isn't going to change anything. If renters can't afford rent now, freezing it won't help.

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    All my Rents are below market values. We are been squeezed so forced into corners and have to react and start playing hard ball, so my Rents will be forced to come closer to Market Rents pushing my income up £50k pa how is this going to help Tenants, ok I will loose some of the lower earners and probably replace them with higher earners. I accept I will have more voids but should be covered by extra income, now I must get on with my day.


    Michael - you choose to keep your rents at below market rent, just as I choose to keep some of mine low. For me (apart from one property which I let via a Council scheme) it is very firmly for existing tenants who have a history of looking after the properties and paying their rent more or less on time (subject to the occasional glitch usually caused by UC).
    If those specific tenants moved out those properties would be re let at market rent. I wouldn't expect big voids as the properties are all very conveniently located. Some of them may need a bit of a facelift between tenants but that's a slightly different thing. As far as I am concerned discounted rent is something that will come to good tenants in the fullness of time in the form of me choosing not to increase their rent.
    However, I'm not a charity and activists need to understand it is far more beneficial for tenants for there to be a good supply of rental properties than the situation we have now. We realistically can't keep absorbing more and more costs without increasing rents, at least for new tenancies.
    Tax increases, mortgage rate increases, licensing schemes, EPC upgrades, more safety checks, etc.

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    Or put another way 99.92% of the 4m households in the private rental sector were not evicted!!


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