Rent rises should be banned and Section 21 and Section 8 evictions suspended until the cost of living crisis subsides, says tenants' advocacy group Generation Rent.
The organisation also wants to see landlords banned from requesting six or 12 months' rent up-front '� a tactic, it clams, that is used by some landlords to prevent those on benefits from renting their homes without explicitly saying so.
Generation Rent has used a raft of different data sources to back up its calls for government action including ONS stats that show 59% of renters were finding it difficult to pay energy bills last month and that nearly half were spending less on essentials such as food.
It also claims that a third of tenants recently reported to the ONS that their rent had increased over the past six months.
Other demands made by Generation Rent include unfreezing the Local Housing Allowance, restoring Discretionary Housing Payment funding to 2020-21 levels, reinstating the �20 per week Universal Credit uplift and proving funds to clear tenants' rent arrears on top of the �65 million provided last year.
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'Although interest rates are rising, homeowners 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," says Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent.
"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.'�
Read more about Section 21 evictions.