'I can't be subsidising people': Landlord fumes over lost income amid cost of living crisis

3 August 2022, 14:46

By Seán Hickey

This landlord tells LBC that the £400 energy rebate given to each of his properties 'doesn't touch the sides' of the income he has lost.

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Concerns have grown over how the £400 energy rebate will help those worst affected by the cost of living crisis. Many renters will miss out on the payment if their bills are included in their rent payments, as the rebate is designed to be sent directly to the accounts of bill payers.

Jason in Ipswich, a landlord who owns multiple properties, phoned in to share his problem with the narrative being constructed.

Read more: 'It's disgraceful': Landlord is turned into renter by sky-high London rent costs

"All this year the energy bills have been going up and up and up and I can't put the rents up until the end of their six-month agreement!" He told Shelagh Fogarty.

The caller explained that "all the fuel and energy bills have all doubled" and because all his tenants have their bills included, he's had to make up the difference in rising energy costs.

He insisted that "no one's giving me any help", despite the government's incoming energy rebate being sent directly to his energy accounts.

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After Shelagh pointed this out, he branded the rebate "peanuts" in comparison to the losses he's making.

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Shelagh asked the caller by how much he plans to hike the rent of his tenants.

"Well first of all, I can charge people whatever rent I want and they've got a choice of leaving or paying it. It's as simple as that. I'm a business, I'm not social services."

He went on by reiterating how little the rebate helps: "I've lost more than £400 on each house in the last nine months. It doesn't even touch the sides."

The caller stated that he won't pass on the rebate, explaining that it is "merely a small contribution to the loss I've made."

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"I can't be subsidising people" he told Shelagh, as he explained that the cost of living crisis has meant that he's making "a lot less money" then he should have been making.

Answering Shelagh's initial question, the caller said that he plans to increase rents by 10% across the board.

He concluded by stating that if the situation improved in future, he won't necessarily bring the rent down again.

"I would charge as much as the market would bear, because I'm in the business to make money."

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