A so-called Renters Union is organising a day of action after claiming letting agents are behind recent rent rises.
London Renters Union – part of a coalition of tenant groups including Generation Rent – says the day will “highlight the human impact of huge rent rises during the cost of living crisis and to demand that the government introduces a rent freeze like the one introduced by the Scottish government.”
There will be direct action protests at six locations across London on December 3.
The protests will target companies and landlords that have played an active role in pushing up rents since the start of the cost of living crisis.
Renters across London are being encouraged to sign up to take part by registering online and London Renters Union says more details of the protests will be announced soon.
LRU claims to have received hundreds of requests for support from members facing rent rises in recent months with many worried that they’ll lose their home and become homeless.
LRU members are reporting rent rises of 30, 50 or even 100 per cent. Of the 150 most recent rent increases reported to LRU, the average increase was £3,378 per year.
A spokesperson says: “My partner and I were forced out of our home when our landlord tried to put up the rent by £8,000 per year. Finding a new place was a real struggle but in the end we managed to find somewhere.
“It’s £200 per month more expensive than where we were living before and I’ve ended up having to work two jobs to make up for that.”
“Rising rents are forcing people out of their homes and away from their communities and the people they care for. While many landlords and estate agents make big profits, the rest of us face eviction and homelessness or having nothing left over for the basics like energy bills, food and clothes.
“We’re taking action because the government is doing nothing to protect renters. The government should step in to protect renters with a rent freeze like in Scotland instead of prioritising the profits of landlords and estate agents.”
Another spokesperson claims agents are behind the rent rises, saying: “Talking to people facing rent increases and seeing some of the emails that are being sent, it’s clear that estate agents are deliberately causing rent hikes by encouraging landlords to raise rents and encouraging bidding wars. Landlords and estate agents make big profits and these rent rises are having a hugely negative impact on people’s lives and are totally unjustifiable.
“There are rent controls in many cities in Europe, and the Scottish government has put a law in place so landlords can’t raise the rents until March. A rent freeze would relieve pressure on millions of people this winter so why won’t the government put one in place?”