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Rent freeze call to save London tenants £3k

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The Mayor of London is calling for a private rent freeze in the capital for a two-year period to help tenants save £3,000 amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Sadiq Khan has asked the government to give him the power to freeze private rents in the capital to help thousands of Londoners struggling to cope as bills skyrocket.

Based on forecasts by estate agent Savills, a freeze on private rent would save Londoners an average £881 in year one, and £2,107.60 in the second year.

The rent freeze call comes as estimates reveal a quarter of London’s 2.4 million privately renting adults had fallen behind on their rent, or said they were likely to do so as a result of the pandemic.

Further, half a million Londoners now potentially face eviction.

Meanwhile, with the soaring cost of energy taking the price cap to close to £2,000 in April, and suggestions average bills could hit £4,000, coupled with forecast inflation above 7%, many people will continue to struggle. It will essentially lead to more people falling into debt with no means of paying it off, Khan warned.

The Mayor of London has previously called for an end to unjust letting fees, for evictions to be suspended during the pandemic and for a package of grants to enable renters to stay in their homes.

No-fault evictions will also be banned and Khan said: “Private renters make up nearly a third of everyone living in the capital and they are set to be hit by a devastating combination of price and bill rises. Too often the needs of private renters are ignored by both landlords and the government.

“Rising fuel and energy costs – which will hit renters in energy-inefficient homes the hardest – are already causing anxiety and stress, with a big rise in the energy price cap due next month. That’s why today I’m calling on ministers to give me the powers to stop rents rising in the capital, and help me to give people a chance to get back on their feet after the pandemic.”

‘More protections from unaffordable rent hikes’

Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, said: “With the cost of living spiralling out of control, the Mayor is right that renters need more protections from unaffordable rent hikes. It’s too easy for landlords to raise rent on tenants and it’s too difficult for renters to negotiate, or challenge a rent increase at a tribunal. Without intervention landlords can effectively evict their tenants by making their home too expensive for them to afford. The mayor needs powers to intervene for London’s millions of renters.”

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