Rent freeze calls grow as politicians and unions back campaign

An open letter from the London Renters Union and leading unions calls on Michael Gove to stop any further rent rises.

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Housing secretary Michael Gove has come under renewed pressure to freeze rents as major unions and the mayors of two cities have joined a campaign.

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Michael Gove MP

The London Renters Union has written an open letter to Gove calling on him to prevent any further PRS rent increases.

Unions including the RMT, CWU, NEU, and UNISON which have signed the open letter are joined by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham.

“Wages are at a near 20-year low, forcing half a million workers to take strike action earlier this month. Meanwhile, rents are rising to record highs,” the LRU says.

“It is unfair that the people who kept our country going through the pandemic are being pushed into poverty while developers and landlords get richer. The government has the power to tackle this crisis.”

Rent freeze

The Government this week ruled out the option of following Scotland’s example and introducing a rent cap.

Felicity Buchan MP

Housing minister Felicity Buchan told MPs rent controls would not help tenants or landlords to deal with the cost of living crisis.

She said: “The Government do not support the introduction of rent controls in the private rental sector. Evidence suggests that they discourage investment, lead to declining property standards and may encourage illegal sub-letting, which would help neither tenants nor landlords.

“In the UK, rent increased by 4.4% in the year to January 2023. We are clearly aware that there is a lot of pressure on household budgets, which is why the Treasury put together an enormous £37 billion cost of living package in 2022-23.”

Scottish Government U-turns replacing rent freeze with cap


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