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Graham Awards


Letting agents accused of pushing landlords into raising rents

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?”

  • jeremy clarke

    The statement
    "While many landlords and estate agents make big profits".
    Just shows how out of touch these organisations are with the real world. Perhaps if they had real jobs instead of relying on payment from government funded by our taxes they might just understand basic economics?

  • icon

    when these people wake up and realise all they are doing is driving landlords out of the PRS with their actions and there are no properties to rent what happens to the tenants then? Many Landlords have mortgages and had increases in their cost of living too so why should these not be passed on to tenants as long as they are reasonable increases.

  • Matthew Payne

    Just doing their job it seems to me, that's part of the reason a landlord may employ an agent in the first place.

  • Barry X

    "A rent freeze would relieve pressure on millions of people this winter so why won’t the government put one in place?”

    ...but would it though? I think a lot of s.21 notices will be served while we're still allowed to and even more landlords would try to sell up and get out while they still can... oh yes, and before CGT, i.e. tax on nothing but inflation, is "simplified" to align with income tax to force landlords to pay even more for government mistakes.

    While they're at it, why don't they demand the government puts a price freeze on all goods in all shops and pubs too, so as both to empty the shelves and also drive shops and pubs out of business too? That could "relieve pressure on millions of people this winter" because they would save a lot of money (while they starve and die of thirst) as there would be almost nowhere left for them to spend it! ;)


    And what do I do as a Landlord?
    Am I supposed to give up all my income for 3 months?

    Barry X

    I was trying to be ironic, @Eric.... I'm with you!

  • icon

    The power to reduce rents is not in the hands of letting agents. Its supply and demand, the government needs to stop punishing landlords and incentivise more BTL landlords so they stop exiting the market which is why rental demand far outstrips supply currently which is what is pushing up prices. They should protest the government to build more homes to rent and incentivise BTL landlords.

  • icon

    An agent has a duty of care to give landlords best advice. It is not our decision to act as the moral police. An agent who fails to give their client best advice, such as current market rent, is open to a claim of negligence.

  • Noel Wood

    In my capacity as a private landlord the only reason I have increased the rent is to cover the increased non business expense interest payments, increased costs (EPC/EICR/CO/MEES compliance) and mostly the increased tax burden. However, the increased rents do not cover the increased costs which is why I continue to sell my rental properties. Who is to blame? My letting agent? Nope. Government policy. Yes.

  • icon

    Standard, blame the Letting Agents & the Landlords instead of focusing on the real problem - the Government, restrictive legislation & taxes which are forcing landlords out of the market. It's supply & demand. Too many landlords aren't seeing a return on their investments these days. The PRS is a business, not a charity.


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