London Mayor calls for rent freeze to combat cost of living crisis

Sadiq Khan | Hillingdon Today
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan / Steve Punter

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is calling on the Government to give him the powers to freeze private rents in the capital for two years and help to save £3,000 in rent for thousands of Londoners struggling to cope with the rocketing cost of living.

New City Hall analysis, based on estate agent Savills forecasts, shows that freezing private rents for two years would save Londoners on average a total of £2,988 across both years, with £881 in the first year and £2107.60 in the second year.

Research from City Hall and YouGov previously estimated that a quarter of London’s 2.4 million privately renting adults had fallen behind on their rent, or said they were likely to do so, as a direct result of the pandemic. More than a third of private renters polled said they thought the pandemic was having a ‘large impact’ on their personal finances, with half a million Londoners now potentially facing eviction.

Recent polling showed that 34 per cent of Londoners have struggled to pay their household bills in the last six months, with 13 per cent struggling to make ends meet, going without essentials or relying on credit.

In a statement, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Private renters make up nearly a third of everyone living in the capital and they are set to be hit by a devastating combination of price and bill rises. Too often the needs of private renters are ignored by both landlords and the Government. “Rising fuel and energy costs – which will hit renters in energy inefficient homes the hardest – are already causing anxiety and stress, with a big rise in the energy price cap due next month. That’s why today I’m calling on ministers to give me the powers to stop rents rising in the capital, and help me to give people a chance to get back on their feet after the pandemic.”