On the same day it was reported that inflation had dropped to 0% a report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (pdf) gleefully announced that rents are rising due to soaring demand for housing.
31% of letting agents reported rent increases between January and February with rises highest in the South East and “intense competition” for housing in London. Even the language used reveals a private rental sector that is broken beyond repair.
Tenants are customers, they should not be in competition for housing, landlords should be in competition for tenants. Even by the vile standards of a free market run rampant that is how it is supposed to work. No-one is in competition to shop at fucking Tesco. And yet even during this boom time for letting agents and landlords they can still find something to complain about.
The report warns that 70% of letting agents say landlords will pull out of the market if three year tenancies are introduced as Labour have vaguely promised to do if they win the election. They expect us to believe that buy-to-let landlords will all start paying their own mortgages in protest if they are no longer able to evict tenants at the drop of a hat. They must think we are fucking idiots.
Millions of people are now living in private rented accommodation and can face eviction, for any reason, with just two months notice. As house prices soar and social housing disappears that means millions of people who will live their entire life without ever knowing what it is like to have a secure home. And all to prop up parasites in the private rented sector who are exploiting the fucked housing market to wring out every last possible penny from their tenants. Tenants who in many cases may already be living in desperate poverty.
Rent caps are needed urgently, but even that would only fix rents at their current astronomical levels. A huge expansion of social housing is the only real solution to the UK’s housing crisis. That means in London not one more yuppy flat should be built until there is no-one at all on housing waiting lists. Alternatively we could all stop paying our rent and really give the bastards something to complain about.
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