Cost of living: ‘Rent rises mean I want my landlord to evict me’

Money is so tight for Amy Jones that she asked her private landlord to evict her and her son so she can be considered for social housing.

The 29-year-old will risk homelessness after cutting back on food and heating to pay the deficit between her universal credit allowance and rent.

It comes as two students had to pay £27,000 up front to secure a Cardiff flat, due to rental market demand.

The Welsh government plans to consult on rent control for private rentals.

Rents are rising at the fastest rate for more than 13 years, according to property experts Zoopla. They said this is because of limited supply, caused by an “exodus” of private landlords.

Last month, Wales had the biggest annual jump in rental prices outside of London – up 13.9% to £882 per month according to Rightmove.

That kind of rent increase leaves people like Amy “desperate“, trying to find a suitable and affordable home for her and five-year-old son Amari.

“The prices have just gone crazy,” said the single mum, who used to work as a hair extension specialist.

They’ve just gone way higher than what anyone can afford.”

Her current two-bedroom terraced home in Aberdare in the south Wales valleys has rising damp, so she needs to find somewhere else to live.

‘We already compromise on electric and food’

But her local universal credit housing allowance of £375 per month means she would only be able to afford social housing.

“I currently pay £475 per month,” Amy told BBC Wales Live. “But we’re looking upwards of £600 now to move to another two-bedroom house.

“We’re already tending to compromise on gas, electric and food. We don’t get to do a lot of activities outside of the home.”

With rises in her heating and shopping bills due to the cost of living crisis, Amy has asked her landlord to evict her in the hope the council would step in and help find the young family a home in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

“I’ve spoken to the landlord’s agent and basically asked for an eviction notice to see if that can help with the council,” said Amy. “We are really desperate.”

Amy said her mental health has suffered “drastically” since her first son, William, passed away at three weeks old, back in 2015.

“I haven’t always been out of work,” she said. “My mental health took quite a bad dip towards the end of last year, so I had to come out of work and my income almost halved.”

Amy said she knew of others in similar situations, with one neighbour sleeping on the sofa every night so her two teenage children can have rooms of their own.

Some support organisations have warned against anyone asking for no fault evictions, as they risk being deemed “intentionally homeless” and could be eligible for less support.



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