Rent campaigners in Leeds, say the system is broken after an increase in rent costs.
Leeds was only one of 3 cities where rental costs rose faster than the UK average wage growth.
Acorn, a community-based group of working-class people -tenants, workers and residents who campaign against high rates of rent, found the increase outrageous but were not surprised to know that landlords welcomed the increase.
One activist at Acorn said:
” It’s the symbol of a broken housing system that is more and more deregulated, stacked in favour of landlords who hold all the power and all the resources, in a context where inequality and austerity more generally have deeply scarred our country. “
The rent increase has gone from 2.3% to the current number in just 12 months.
Zoopla, published their quarterly rental market report, in it, they stated that on average renting a home in the UK has become more affordable.
Richard Donnell, Research and Insight Director at Zoopla said:
“Rental affordability varies widely across the country, reflecting the relative strength of local economies.”Statistics provided by Zoopla
A Leeds landlord responded to the increase, saying:
” 4.5% you say? My tenants won’t be happy when they find that out then. I am now though”
One tenant in Leeds stated that his rent for his property had increased from £675 to £795 in the space of 4 years.
He said: “I feel like I may have snapped up a bargain at first, but when it starts getting to around 800+ I do think it’s starting to get a bit silly.”
He, among others, want to see the city centre have more redevelopment to bring it cheaper flats that they hope will force prices down.
The report also showed that Leeds rental prices rose at a rate higher than London, asking the question, are cities outside of the Capital gaining more clout?
‘I do think it’s starting to get a bit silly’
In London City, the average rent is £1,559 Pcm, in Leeds, it is £707 with a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4%, rent in Leeds could average at £914 Pcm
‘ Housing should not be a money-making exercise for the super-rich’
One Leeds tenant blames the current Government for the increase:
“Changes made by the government to stamp duty and also taxation of buy to let property income will no doubt have a significant impact on rising rents these increases have to be passed on… unfortunately for the tenant. “
One tenant’s rent increased yet they stated that the landlord did nothing to improve the condition of his property:
” It’s still a wood-rotting, ill-maintained, neighbour-complaining-about-how-it-looks, out-of-code house.”
Another resident said : “Leeds has become a place to visit! Obviously that’s why rent is going up, we have the arena where you can see big stars!”
Acorn actively works with students who need help to stand up to landlords and their poor practice:
” We see that indifference to tenants’ needs and well-being every day from rogue landlords who are only interested in making a quick buck and will neglect health and safety, unaccountably ratchet up rent year-on-year, and evict anyone who doesn’t have the ability to pay. “
Leeds housing association are a service similar to how student accommodation works, they will help a person find a home and can assist in paying rent.
Aaron Hare and his partner used the service to find a home after they found out how much they could save on rent:
“The housing association makes renting so much cheaper, we actually got a nicer flat than we had and for a lot less”
In July 2019, Sadiq Khan called for new powers in rent control, he wanted to introduce a database for all landlords to maintain standards and introduce caps on rental contracts.