General News

Huge support for rent reductions

Alice Blezard May 4, 2015

Nearly 3,000 people in Brighton & Hove have signed a petition calling for fair rents and more security for tenants in private rented homes.

Living Rents Campaign

The petition organised by the local Living Rent Campaign also calls for:

· An end the Governments Right to Buy scheme which has led to the sale of more than 1.7 million affordable homes

· An increase in the amount councils can borrow to build more social housing

· And a landlords registration scheme to ensure all private rented homes are decent, safe and secure

Private housing rents have been rocketing in cities like Brighton & Hove. The average rent for a three bedroomed house in Brighton and Hove will cost you around £1,556 per month. More than a third (37%) of all private rented homes in the City still fail the Decent Home Standard.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion, has given her full backing for fair rents in the city.

Caroline Lucas: Green Party, Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion
Caroline Lucas: Green Party, Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion

She said: “It’s unacceptable that private rents are unaffordable for so many people. We have to go further than just limiting future increases as some have suggested. In Brighton & Hove, it’s like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted! I support calls for a Living Rent commission to explore proposals that will bring rents down to truly affordable levels.”

Adding: “Longer tenancies and rent controls work in Germany where private renting is popular and works for both tenants and the landlords. We need something similar here.”

Living Rent Campaign research shows landlords can thrive with rent controls and longer tenancies.

In Germany and many other European countries, rents are lower and private tenants have more protections than in the UK. On the continent, landlords see housing as providing a long-term, stable income as opposed to the get rich as quick as possible approach in the UK.

Buy to let landlords here have been making greater profits than any other investors, even though they can afford to charge less rent and often these profits are funded by taxpayers through housing benefit payments. In Brighton alone last year, £112 million of public money was paid to private landlords in housing benefit.

The petition will be handed to parliamentary and council candidates in Brighton & Hove before the election.