Generation Rent, which is a key influencer on government policy, says Ministers should reconsider giving landlords the green light to put up rents, and instead stop increases until next year.

Renters’ groups are unhappy that the Government has given the go-ahead for landlords to increase rents during the crisis.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher last week told MPs that a ban on rent rises wasn’t being considered and that the Coronavirus Act 2020 already contained measures to protect private and social tenants.

However, campaign group Generation Rent believes there should be a year-long rent freeze in response to the crisis.

It adds that many renters fear falling into debt to pay back missed rent, and predicts a spike in homelessness as tenants could be evicted as a result of arrears.

Policy manager Caitlin Wilkinson (pictured) says landlords shouldn’t be allowed to raise rents in the middle of a pandemic.

She adds: “The Government’s own advice is to stay home and avoid moving home if possible – meaning tenants faced with a rent hike have very little choice but to stay put and accept it.

“It should introduce a 12-month freeze on in-tenancy rent increases to ensure tenants are able to stay in their homes for the duration of this crisis.”

Responding to a written question from Labour MP Barry Sheerman, Mr Pincher said the Government had no plans to ban rent increases during the Covid-19 outbreak, as it had already announced extensive measures to protect renters affected by Coronavirus.

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