Property News > Renters facing a choice between food and rent, report claims

Renters facing a choice between food and rent, report claims

Some tenants in the private rented sector are having to choose between paying for food or
paying other essential bills such as rent, according to new research carried out by Opinium
for the Guardian.

Indeed, it claims that around 60% of private sector tenants have incurred financial losses as a result of the lockdown measures imposed by the government, and around 20% of those are currently being forced to prioritise food and rent.

Meanwhile, a popular solution for many is to request an early end to their tenancy in order to move in with friends or parents, with one in four having opted for this already,

In March, evictions were temporarily banned by the government, which also gave landlords the opportunity to apply for a mortgage payment holiday. However, the government has also faced calls from the likes of the London Renters Union to suspend rents entirely until the measures are lifted.

Amina Gichinga of the London Renters Union said: “Many renters feel they have no choice
but to break social distancing guidelines and go out to work, just so their landlords can
continue to profit.

“How are people supposed to pay rent with no income and at least a month’s wait for any
government assistance? How are people in low-paid jobs meant to clear hundreds or
thousands of pounds of rent arrears in the future?

“All rent payments need to be suspended and rent arrears need to be waived urgently to
keep renters safe from eviction and from debt, and to prevent the further spread of the virus.”

Kat Wright, national organiser for Acorn, which campaigns for tenants’ rights, added: “We’re facing a huge surge in evictions once restrictions are lifted, and renters across the UK are already unable to pay their rent.

“Tenants need protection from evictions post-emergency and from rent debt accrued during the crisis.”

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