A RENTERS union has called for rent caps and an end to ‘no-fault’ evictions.

Members of the Association of Community Organisations for Reform Now (ACORN) presented a Minimum Standards for Landlords charter to Brighton and Hove City Council’s housing committee on Wednesday.

The charter, which has been written by members from across the city, sets standards for rent, tenancies and evictions and repair services by landlords.

The housing campaign group are calling for an end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and winter evictions, and demand rents are capped at 30 per cent of the Brighton Living Wage, which is currently set at an hourly rate of £9.30.

Sam Dunnett, chairman of ACORN Brighton said: “We presented our charter to the council because we believe they should be going out of their way to listen to the voices of renters in this city – the voices of those at the sharp end of the housing crisis, facing issues such as eviction, sky-rocketing rents and non-responsiveness or intimidation over repairs.

“Renters deserve a council that is on our side, not on the side of landlords who value their profit margins more than social responsibility.”

One ACORN Brighton member, who works for the NHS and did not want to be named, said: ‘I have recently been made homeless because a brief illness left me unable to work, and I couldn’t keep up with my rent.

“Now I’m sofa-surfing and trying to save up money for somewhere to live, which is hard because rents are so high, and most landlords won’t accept low-paid workers or people on universal credit.

“Everyone I know is only one paycheck or one illness away from being homeless, and landlords need to take responsibility and start charging affordable rents.”

ACORN has previously campaigned to end letting agents fees and is now campaigning nationally to end Section 21 evictions.

Under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, landlords can evict tenants without giving a reason, once an initial six-month period at the start of a tenancy is over.

According to ACORN, this can leaver renters vulnerable to rent increases and fears they will be ‘revenge’ evicted if they request for repair work.

The campaign group is critical of the council, which they say is in partnership with a landlord association that offers advice on Section 21 evictions.

Paul Williams, organiser for ACORN Brighton said: “The council is in partnership with a landlords association called iHowz, which offers discounted rates on section 21 evictions on their website.

“This brings into doubt the council’s commitment to ending homelessness in the city.

“We have asked them to explain this relationship but are still waiting for a response.”

Mr Williams said the council will give an official response to the charter at their next committee meeting in January, and he believes they should be “bending over backwards” to hear what ACORN has to say about the housing crisis and homelessness.

He added: “Whatever they’ve been doing clearly hasn’t been working.”