Diane Abbott Hits The Nail On The Head Over The Long-Term Impact Of 'Bad Landlords'

The Labour MP said that it stops young people ever getting on the property ladder.
Diane Abbott spoke out about the long-term impact bad landlords can have on tenants
Diane Abbott spoke out about the long-term impact bad landlords can have on tenants
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Diane Abbott just pinpointed exactly why the current rental market is a problem on Monday – it drains young people’s bank accounts.

The Labour MP and former shadow home secretary told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “One of the problems about stratospheric rents is that younger people, like a lot of your colleagues here, they’re never going to be able to afford to buy because every penny is going on rent.”

Consumer outlet Which? recently revealed rental properties cost around 20% more than owning a home in parts of the UK with the average monthly rent for tenants reaching £1,013.

That’s the first time on record the average cost of rent has exceeded £1,000 a month.

So, even though the current high mortgage payments caused by the Bank of England’s high interest rates (at 4.5% as of March), has made owning a home more expensive as well, renting is still more costly overall.

And much of it is because demand is greater than the supply. The number of available rental properties has decreased by a third over the last 18 months, according to RightMove.

Property website Zoopla told the BBC that lettings agencies now have around 10 rentals compared to the 16 and over it had before September 2021.

As Abbott explained: “That is what is causing renters so many problems. There’s no certainty, because bad landlords just want to exploit the market.”

She defined a “bad landlord” as “somebody who uses the no fault eviction to get you out” and someone who “puts up the rent every three months, every six months”.

Similarly, Portia Msimang, project coordinator at Renters’ Rights London told ITV in March: “People are being held to ransom by landlords, who themselves are living really well. It’s not normal behaviour – what do they think of their fellow human beings?”

The Office for National Statistics found that 51% of renters saw their payments increase in the year leading up to February – and specialists are not expecting rent increases to decline either.

Meanwhile, the cost of living crisis continues to squeeze budgets as energy bills remain high, having a knock on impact on inflation in general.

The government has previously announced that it would tackle the rental market, allowing tenants to challenge poor practice or unjustified rent increases and obtain refunds for unhealthy, unsafe or poor quality homes.

But, Abbott claimed there is no sign of the reform that the government promised over in the Commons.


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