21 May 24

Grainger, the Stock Market listed corporate landlord, has been targeted by protesters over rent levels.

A protest outside Grainger’s London HQ marks the start of what the London Renters Union calls its ‘Cut The Rent’ campaign.

Grainger PLC owns and manages more than 10,000 properties across the country, with a further 5,000 in the pipeline. It has a portfolio allegedly valued at £3.3 billion.

Grainger has positioned itself as offering a solution to the housing crisis by creating new properties in the Build To Rent sector.

London Renters Union claims the corporate landlord mostly offers luxury flats in London that are “on average more than 20% higher than local rents and which local residents cannot afford.”

The union is also angry at Grainger’s alleged lobbying of government against elements of the Renters Reform Bill and because it has built on sites previously occupied by council housing tenants.

And the LRU wants rent controls over Grainger and all other private rental properties.

A spokesperson for the union says: “I was forced out of my home in Seven Sisters in 2022 when my partner and I were given a 51% rent increase. Our landlord justified this rise by citing the new Grainger block across the road as ‘the market rate’. 

“This was a hugely distressing time for us, giving us little notice to try and find another home. We are now spending around half of our wages on housing costs. Over the last five years, I’ve built a home in Tottenham. 

“If Grainger and other corporate landlords are allowed to continue ripping apart our communities like this, I will no longer be able to afford to live in the place where I work.”

At the end of last week Grainger figures given to shareholders showed an 11 per cent growth in its net rental income from £48m to £53.2m in the six months to April.

Meanwhile the firm’s total rental growth in the half year to 31 March was eight per cent, up from 6.8 per cent in the six months prior.

This rental growth and the expansion of its pipeline led to the firm rewarding shareholders with an increased dividend for the 17th time in a row. 

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