Whereas it’s likely that every single landlord has seen higher costs over the past year, two out of five tenants have escaped any rent rise at all - and that’s even admitted by a tenant activist group.
Generation Rent says in June and July it surveyed 1,021 tenants that it calls “supporters” - so are not necessarily representative renters.
The findings from the activist supporters suggest 60 per cent have faced a rent increase in the past year, up from 45 per cent 12 months ago.
Some 20 per cent of the group’s supporters were asked to pay more than £100 more per month; of those, 15 per cent negotiated the figure down and 10 per cent have moved out anyway.
The survey asked the group’s supporters if the landlord or letting agent gave a reason for the increase - 12 per cent claim it was of because of higher mortgage payments and 17 per cent claim it was because of higher market rents.
Generation Rent claims its analysis of UK Finance and Bank of England figures suggests that 14 per cent of private tenancies are vulnerable to unsustainable increases in mortgage rates. The group says this “means that interest rates are less of a factor in setting rents than wider market forces.”
It does not give details of how its analysis came to this conclusion.
Generation Rent says its supporters are also complaining about group viewings, alleged bidding wars, and paying “multiple” months rent as a deposit.
Ben Twomey - the Generation Rent chief executive - says: “While many mortgage holders have yet to see their monthly payments increase, most private renters have already faced a rent hike this past year.
“So far only a minority of landlords have been affected so badly by rising rates that they are passing them on to tenants. But the rising cost of rent is a much wider problem caused by the failure to build enough homes where people want to live, and the ability of landlords to raise rents regardless of what their tenant can afford.
“The government’s response to this needs to put tenants first: prevent unaffordable rent increases, and protect tenants in their homes if their landlord needs to sell.
“Tenants relying on benefits need their housing support raised to cover what rents actually cost, and, to meet demand, we need a massive programme of building, particularly of social housing.”
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