Generation Rent is promoting another rent freeze campaign.
In a short series of tweets, and in relation to the predicted energy price increases, the activist group says: “The scale of economic hardship that is going to be facing renters over the coming months is immense. It's important that they don't face unaffordable rent hikes on top of everything else.”
On the 38 Degrees website its petition is from Emma Johnson, described by the group as a supporter, and it says she was evicted via Section 21 and given two months notice, in which time it was “impossible [to find alternative accommodation] so I was made homeless by my landlady’s decision.”
The petition - which contains a tick box asking if people want to be contacted by Generation Rent about its campaigns - continues: “Right now, landlords can raise the rent by hundreds of pounds per month, and the tenant has little option but to accept it. If the tenant tries to negotiate, the landlord can serve a Section 21 which can’t be challenged. If the tenant can’t pay the rent and gets into two months’ arrears or more, the landlord can serve a Section 8 notice which, again, can’t be challenged.”
The petition goes on: “The government needs to act now to tackle the cost of living crisis and protect renters who are being forced to choose between staying on top of rent and putting food on the table. To choose between living and merely existing. Only if the government freezes rents and stops these types of evictions will millions of renters finally begin to get some sense of security during this cost of living crisis.”
Generation Rent has been involved in a series of nine petitions in all on the 38 Degrees website in recent years, mostly related to landlord eviction powers and/or rent rises.
Meanwhile a Labour MP is also calling for a rent freeze.
Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley has written to Tory leadership hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak saying that without such a measure “a moral and economic catastrophe” will unfold.
In the letter he sets out demands of the MPs and the government, including one titled Price Controls, which says: “In recognition of the severity of the current crisis and the dire forecasts being projected by the Bank of England, a comprehensive system of prices controls one basic essential including food and rent should be introduced.”
His other demands include increasing the national minimum wage to £15 an hour “across the board”, uprating benefits, imposing an Excess Profits Tax, and radical reform of the energy market.
His lengthy letter concludes: “I know that some will consider me naive for writing to put forward proposals that could not be more out of tune with prevailing throughout within your party. I also know that in the context of the current Conservative leadership contest, the experiences of my constituents count for little when compared to the views of your party’s members in some of the wealthiest parts of the country. But when confronted by the immediacy of the crisis and the government’s continued refusal to recall Parliament, I am left with no other recourse but to issue you both with this heartfelt appeal.”
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