GENERATION RENT campaigns for professionally managed, secure, decent and affordable private rented homes in sustainable communities.

Join us today and help campaign for a better deal for private renters.

How we help

  • hwh-1.pngCall for changes in legislation, strategies, policies and practices to make private housing a better place to live

  • hwh-2.pngStrengthen the voice of private tenants by developing a national network of private renters and local private renters’ groups
  • hwh-3.pngEncourage private renters to set up local groups in their own areas
  • hwh-4.pngWork with affiliates towards achieving the aims of Generation Rent
  • commented 2015-04-16 02:50:53 +0100 · Flag
    Sue Cole’s housing problem is not at all unusual. Contrary to popular demonisation, not everyone over 50 is either a rich home owner or a smugly secure council tenant. In middle age and older, people frequently need to find somewhere to live, often in a different area. Her sense of betrayal is well justified and understandable after playing by the rules, paying in to the public kitty during a lifetime of asking for nothing.

    Sue is typical because she returns to her home town and is treated worse than a new immigrant, who does not need to pass the five year test she faces. She must prove she has lived without straying outside the boundary lines of that single council, even to put her name on the waiting list. (Normally, in any case, waiting lists are long enough that she would need to be, perhaps, 150 years old before her name reaches the top, if ever)

    She is also treated worse than a feckless breeder, who is also exempt , and is treated worse than any woman who can play the system and leap the housing list by fiddling the domestic violence short cut. She will never get even the notoriously dire but at least assured safety net of hostel places, because they are provided for women with children. It is harsh to find all resources and help are for those who have not paid in, with nothing for those who have, for half a century or more, only to be denied, derided and labelled “burden”.

    Sue and thousands like her find their existence denied or ignored by the constant use of the word “young” in every housing context. Is it not a truth universally assumed, that anyone over 40 ought to go sleep in a field? (Or else just die, and hurry up about it, to get out of the way of the Entitled Young!)

    Sue finds she cannot pay rent without continuing to work till she drops, but paradoxically she is luckier than most who have reached retirement age. If she had taken retirement, no agent would allow her to apply for any tenancy. The first and main demand from potential landlords for virtually all properties is that the applicant Must Be Currently Employed. (“No DSS”, as they express it) Like the 90 year old’s living in the Bournemouth bus shelter, and the other old couple who jumped to their deaths, retired people everywhere are turned away by private landlords and by local councils. The help to buy is exclusively for young employed, so is the “free” deposit scheme, and nobody over 50 is eligible for a mortgage. So, they cannot rent, cannot access social housing, and cannot buy. Hence the bus shelter and hence the suicide.

    This site is typical in hosting hostility in ageist comments on the boards. (“Selfish” older people are selfishly occupying larger homes than they need, or else are “selfishly” not doing so, but instead are selfishly downsizing which selfishly deprives some Entitled Young people of the starter homes which are theirs By Right. Some are “selfishly” funding their retirement years with money which rightfully belongs to their Entitled Offspring. Some are selfishly refusing to lock themselves away out of sight in some kind of cut price prison cell segregated over-50’s ghetto accommodation, which is good enough for the likes of them, as they dawdle over their task of getting dead. This is the tenor and gist of the age-hate and contempt on this site, which is not challenged, or banned as it would be if racist or homophobic.

    Such age-hate prejudice causes middle aged and older people to have greater housing difficulty than younger people. Over 50’s or even over 40’s are openly barred in flat share adverts , and they cannot ask or expect the same willingness from others, to permit sofa surfing, which younger people take for granted.

    Even the housing organisations obsessively repeat the word “young”, in every discussion of housing. This allows politicians and lazy journalists to do the same, so in turn the general public make the assumptions that housing need is exclusively for The Young, and that “The Elderly” have more housing than they deserve, which means they are to blame for everything.
  • commented 2015-04-15 20:40:09 +0100 · Flag
    I am 60 moved back to se after my divorce and was told I need to be living in borough for 5 years before I can even put my name down for housing. I have since age of 18 paid my taxes and was born here. I feel betrayed that I have reached 60 and can’t even think about retiring, to survive I will need to work as long as I can. I have never taken any benefits , even felt guilty applying for my Boris travel card . What has one to do to be given help……
  • commented 2015-04-15 11:02:40 +0100 · Flag
    I’ve had the chance to think more about my reply to Stephen yesterday. Firstly, I’ve checked and I stand by my original view that prices of buy to let properties have risen by 1400% since 1997. Some landlords are now selling to take profit, and the buyers are frequently more landlords eager to make the same profits. Taxing capital profit at 95%+ will stop this. Secondly, regarding pensioners selling, downsizing and funding comfortable retirements – it’s a much muddier issue, but anyone getting onto the housing ladder when young will eventually end up with a much appreciated asset which they own outright. The important thing is that they’ll then have somewhere to live without further outgoings at a time when they presumably have reduced income. But they eventually have to do something with it. If subject to punitive tax on the profit, they’ll just sit on it despite it perhaps being too big or expensive for them to maintain, and cause a blockage in the natural cycle of others upsizing. So I’m against charging this level of tax on profit on owner occupiers’ primary residences. If they do sell and downsize, they free up property for younger larger families to move into. If they then spend the profit rather than leaving it to their families, they have at least earned the money they paid, not leeched it from the pockets of the younger generation denying them the opportunity to advance their own lives. So sorry, Stephen, my original point stands. Tax profiteering landlords out of the market.
  • commented 2015-04-15 11:02:36 +0100 · Flag
    I’ve had the chance to think more about my reply to Stephen yesterday. Firstly, I’ve checked and I stand by my original view that prices of buy to let properties have risen by 1400% since 1997. Some landlords are now selling to take profit, and the buyers are frequently more landlords eager to make the same profits. Taxing capital profit at 95%+ will stop this. Secondly, regarding pensioners selling, downsizing and funding comfortable retirements – it’s a much muddier issue, but anyone getting onto the housing ladder when young will eventually end up with a much appreciated asset which they own outright. The important thing is that they’ll then have somewhere to live without further outgoings at a time when they presumably have reduced income. But they eventually have to do something with it. If subject to punitive tax on the profit, they’ll just sit on it despite it perhaps being too big or expensive for them to maintain, and cause a blockage in the natural cycle of others upsizing. So I’m against charging this level of tax on profit on owner occupiers’ primary residences. If they do sell and downsize, they free up property for younger larger families to move into. If they then spend the profit rather than leaving it to their families, they have at least earned the money they paid, not leeched it from the pockets of the younger generation denying them the opportunity to advance their own lives. So sorry, Stephen, my original point stands. Tax profiteering landlords out of the market.
  • commented 2015-04-14 15:44:22 +0100 · Flag
    I heard 1997, Stephen, but am happy to be corrected. There are always going to be some selfish people who mess things up for the majority, whether they’re avaricious landlords or selfish pensioners blowing the kids’ inheritance. Personally, I intend to leave as substantial an amount for mine as is practicable, but there is a point there that needs addressing. Maybe large tax bills if old folks don’t move to a retirement home or something of that nature. There’s limited space here to discuss all details, but the biggest problem is the two groups I’ve defined. If we don’t stop them now, all future generations will be forever living in rented accomodation to fund lazy good for nothings who sit around all day. living the high life without ever having worked hard. At least pensioners will have worked for the money they pay off their mortgages with, not grabbed it from the younger generations pockets.
  • commented 2015-04-14 13:56:05 +0100 · Flag
    Foxwatcher, Housing profits up by 1400% since 1971! I take it you are advocating the taxing of ALL profits on the sale of homes whether as Buy to Lets or not, Many people have lived in their family homes, paid off their mortgages and when the children have grown up and left home have sold and downsized taking smaller, more affordable homes from our younger generation whilst driving up the price of these and at the same time using the huge profits from the sale of their family homes to fund their extravagant retirement lifestyle.

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Blog

We need a Robin Hood Tax for renters

It's great that Labour is looking at cutting tax breaks for bad private sector landlords, but they should be targeting them all.

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Why Labour's rent cap won't make your rent cheaper

Sounds a bit strange to say this but it’s absolutely true, however, it will make your tenure more secure.

Labour’s proposal is to cap rent increases at inflation for the first three years of a tenancy. This doesn’t give you the ability to plan your finances – because you don’t know what the inflation rates will be over the next three years – but it is a long way from wild west situation we have today.

 

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Reforming private renting and getting it right

Over on Landlord Law Blog, Tessa Shepperson has offered three warnings to politicians who are trying to tackle housing policy on their election campaigns.

In a nutshell, she notes the importance of housing to people’s health, wellbeing and life chances, highlights the lack of real information about the private rented sector and the actors within it, and the need to ensure it is not a bad investment.

The blog is really raising concerns about Labour’s proposals for the private rented sector: essentially rent stabilisation and longer term tenancies. These are both policies that Generation Rent is calling for – though we think Labour should go further. Tessa makes valid points about them and they merit a response.

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What are the parties offering renters?

All five main UK-wide parties have now published their election manifestos. I took a trawl through them to dig out their plans for renters and the wider housing market.

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An open letter to supporters of Homes for Britain

Today, we're very sad to say that we have to withdraw our support for the Homes for Britain campaign. The title's great but in reality we believe the strategy is so flawed that it has to date undermined the interests of people suffering the consequences of the housing crisis.

We're not suggesting anyone else leaves the coalition, but we are asking signatories to work with us on a more effective, loose campaigning network, and to influence Homes for Britain so that it advocates solutions to the housing crisis that are significantly more timely than within a generation.

Our letter to Homes for Britain supporters is below, but of course we have no such list. We'd be grateful if you could share this letter by email and social media. Anyone organisation that wants to participate in delivering material change, whether that be by asking a network for support or by offering it, or even simply keeping abreast, should email us at info@generationrent.org

Thanks so much,

Alex Hilton
Director, Generation Rent

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Right to Buy is Wrong for Housing

With the launch of the Conservative Party manifesto today, housing jumped up the media and political agenda – but sadly not in the way that will please people looking for genuine and long-term solutions to the housing crisis.

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Does Eric Pickles know there's a housing crisis on?

Today's Financial Times (registration required) reports that the Department for Communities and Local Government has blocked nearly 10,000 new homes from being built since the start of 2015.

What on earth is the government playing at? 

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Wiltshire letting agent jailed for theft

A letting agent convicted of theft from tenants and landlords could be working in the rental market in only 15 months.

Alison Bush was jailed for 15 months at Swindon Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of theft and fraud.

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Join the demo against unethical Bristol letting agent!

You may have seen this letter going viral on Twitter:

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Halifax Report: Generation Rent

Halifax’s annual Generation Rent report came out today, and the main finding is how renters are becoming resigned to their fate.

There were some positives with the highest number of first time buyers for 7 years, although we are a long way off the levels of half a million seen in 2002. However, there is little improvement in how potential first time buyer view their chances – with 79% of 20-45 year olds believing that banks don’t want to lend to first time buyers and 21% believing it is virtually impossible to obtain a mortgage.

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