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 2016-02-08 10:22:37 +0000 · Flag
    Foxwatcher, if you are indeed one of those people constrained by the MMR then you have my every sympathy. It’s all very well saying we must control lending but if all it does is prevent perfectly capable people getting on the ladder then it’s a false policy that doesn’t work.

    My good wishes are genuine. Despite me being on the ‘wrong’ side of the fence, Im a huge believer in home ownership and the ability of the young to buy for themselves. I hope you find what you’re looking for. If it makes any difference, I spent 12 years around the 1990s saving for my first deposit – left home at 31! Not ideal I know but we’ve all been there – and that was before consumer BTL even existed! All the best. JR
  • commented 2016-02-07 22:44:34 +0000 · Flag
    James R, we may indeed not agree on private landlords, but much of what you said in that last post I could have written myself. And your examples of friends with large deposits who can’t get mortgages on sensible properties in their area are ones I very much identify with, shall we say. It IS madness, as you say. I guess if there was a solution, it would’ve been identified and dealt with by now. I’m just trying to make my feelings known on one bit of it that does seem, to me, to have a theoretical solution, fraught with practical difficulties as they may be. Thanks for your best wishes. I appreciate them, and your understanding that there is another point of view here.
  • commented 2016-02-07 21:12:35 +0000 · Flag
    Foxwatcher. Hmmmm, I’d be inclined to agree on the shared-ownership thing. It’s a very long way from perfect and the problems you mention are very real and widespread. I have some experience here. To what extent are you held back by the Mortgage Market Review? – a good friend of mine has a 50% deposit in a relatively cheap area of the country and still can’t get a loan! Madness. (Similarly, some very wealthy friends can’t get a loan either even though it’s for a small fraction of their cash worth – again, madness).

    We’ll clearly never agree on private renting. In a capitalist, ‘free’ society we pay for everything, even the essentials. The supermarkets, water companies, heating, fuel, even clothes – they all make money out of us, out of essentials, out of stuff many people can’t afford. I see your point on housing, but unless everything goes over to your profit-free utopia, it can’t work.

    Consider my local ‘caring, socialist’ council who charge £7/day to park at the railway station. Ok you don’t HAVE to drive to the station, but most people in reality DO HAVE to. It’s too difficult not to. For a space 12×8′ of plain Tarmac, you have to pay the equivalent of nearly FOUR TIMES as much as one of my fully-equipped and beautiful three bedroom houses. And you get a lot more use out of a house 24 hours a day than you do a square of Tarmac.

    The ‘expense’ is all relative and no one ever really provides anything unless there’s something in it for them. It’s just the way of the world. But if you’re home-hunting, I do wish you well.
  • commented 2016-02-07 18:21:45 +0000 · Flag
    So you do still support the misery that all millions of people will have inflicted on them then. That’s very telling FW, very telling indeed.

    As for the Chancellor knowing what he is doing, yes we certainly agree on that too, however what he is doing is, it would seem, very far removed from what you think he is doing. I’m afraid you’re blinded by your your passion, to see the truth. In a couple of years time it may dawn on you that you were wrong because the evidence keeps being presented to you and you keep ignoring it.

    No you haven’t at all produced a plan to solve the housing crisis as far as I can see. You want all rental property state owned. That isn’t a plan, it’s not building houses is it? This Government say they’re going to build 400k houses. That isn’t a plan, it’s an aspiration as your desire is. Even if they achieve it then it doesn’t even keep up with demand. How many more refugees will be coming our way to put on extra demand I wonder?

    Under this Government the UK has built less houses in the last 5 years than anytime since the 1920s, apart from the war. If they’d actually had a plan in that time, the building industry would not have suffered the way it has and we’d have a damn site more houses in the country than we have now. And you think Mr O, who has no real experience of any proper job, or has any worthwhile qualifications other than a degree in history, is going to solve this?

    If you really rate him then take a look at this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOhwOzsNd9Q. This is the Chancellor of the Exchequer and he turns up to PM Question TIme in this state. Good grief!
  • commented 2016-02-07 18:01:28 +0000 · Flag
    James M, it seems I have to spell it out. Please pay attention.

    1) I’m sure the Chancellor knows what he is doing. He has stated it is his intention to remove the inequality between BTLs and OOs. By implication, he wants to stop BTL.

    2) Anyone going into BTL without large long term capital profit as one outcome being apparent to them is too stupid to be allowed to do so. They may dress it up with a variety of other excuses, much as you do, but that’s a main driver.

    3) I have offered my solution to this part of the housing crisis. You may not yet have troubled to read my post of an hour or so ago – I’m sure you will, you like reading thoroughly.

    4) As stated, this is only one aspect. Others, such as immigration, house building programmes, birth rates, local infrastructure etc. are not part of this forum. No doubt you will continue to use them as an excuse for your greed.
  • commented 2016-02-07 17:48:25 +0000 · Flag
    Thanks, James, I genuinely appreciate your reply. I don’t claim to be an expert on shared ownership, but what I do know about it doesn’t convince me. I’ve seen examples where the other half of the partnership seems to act much as a stereotypical unscrupulous landlord would do, leaving the individual to pay for all maintenance, 100% of unexpected bills etc. I could go on, but the final issue would be; at what point would I get the option to buy the other part, and how would I afford it if I’d been paying part mortgage and part rent? I couldn’t afford to save anything under those circumstances so would have no lump sum, and with pay “rises” as they are, I’d not be able to significantly increase any mortgage, so would seem doomed to own part of such a property but never all. Maybe there is an answer, but it’s escaped me so far. I’ll keep researching…
    The reference to supermarkets was in reply to the suggestion along the lines that in my fantasy world, they should be nationalised too as food was as essential as accommodation, but I think that point may have been made by someone else, not yourself.
    Finally, paying rent to ANY profit making landlord, be it a private individual or a corporation such as you describe, is unacceptable to me. NPFs only, I’m afraid, with the profit going back into new property.

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Blog

Spinning the roulette wheel

If you ever wonder why we as a nation are "obsessed" with home ownership when people happily rent for life in Germany and the Netherlands, consider the number of ways you can lose your home as a renter.

Even if you pay the rent on time, take care of the property, and learn your neighbours' names, you can be forced to move if the landlord decides to sell up, raise the rent to a level you can't afford, or just doesn't renew the tenancy. 

A new poll from BMG finds that 27% of current and former private renters have experienced an unwanted move.

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London is a 'mare for renters

LONDON NEEDS A MAYOR FOR RENTERS

Today, with 100 days to the London Mayoral election, we have launched www.votehomes2016.com, as the place to go if you want to know who is promising what to fix the city's housing crisis. 

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Join our campaign for fairer tenancies

This morning, the local community in Herne Hill stopped bailiffs from evicting a 69-year-old private tenant from her home of seven years.

Her landlord, Manaquel, served her with a no-fault eviction notice which gave her no option but to move out or sit and wait to be forced out by the bailiffs.

After a notice to quit, a possession order, and a warrant from the court, the bailiffs arrived today at 9:30 to be met by 20 neighbours and local campaigners who sent them on their way.

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Longer tenancies: busting some myths

Earlier this week we launched .

Achieving this is going to entail hacking through a thicket of special interests. Where it’s not the landlord replacing tenants every six months, it’s letting agents who want their annual renewal fee, or mortgage lenders demanding easy access to the property if the landlord does a runner.

Even deposit protection schemes - government-licensed organisations which supposedly exist to protect tenants - are throwing up roadblocks to reform by spreading misinformation. 

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Housing & Planning Bill: the good bits, the bad bits, and the silence

The Housing and Planning Bill has been announced and is making its way through the Commons. The government is using the legislation to drive through some major changes that threaten to weaken social housing and harm the poorest members of society.

But they're also embarking on some much-needed changes to the private rented sector which should help to root out illegal practices and improve renters' homes. 

The Bill is silent on security for renters. At a time when millions of us have no option but to rent privately, we need to start having some protection from eviction on a landlord's whim: today we launched a petition calling for this. Please sign it and help us persuade politicians to give everyone a stable home.

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Don't let mess get in the way of your deposit

This is a guest post from Joanna White of Property Principles. To write for our blog, please contact us.

Moving house is stressful enough - finding a suitable flat, packing up your things, trying to avoid paying double rent for too long. And then there's the question of whether you'll get your deposit back. 

According to the Tenancy Deposit Service, 56 per cent of deposit disputes are about cleaning.  Many of these end with tenants losing all or most of their deposit.  It’s in everyone’s interests to reduce the number of cleaning disputes. Here are my tips for avoiding disagreements when you hand over your keys:

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The London estate being torn apart by evictions

If ever there was a case for the reform of private renters' rights it's this. 

Residents of Dorchester Court in Herne Hill all rent from the same landlord, Manaquel Ltd. In recent years, the company has tried putting up the rent by 30% in many cases - some of the residents managed to negotiate a lower increase, but are still paying much more than before. 

This year, instead of having their tenancy renewed, the landlord has been issuing them with section 21 eviction notices - giving the tenant 2 months to leave - without giving them a reason or any option to stay.

Image from Brixton Buzz

[photo: Brixton Buzz]

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MPs to debate making rented homes fit for humans

When a tenant has a landlord who refuses to make repairs to the property, the local council should be their next port of call. Unfortunately, local council environmental health teams are woefully under-resourced and many cases of unsafe housing slip through the net - there are an estimated 16% physically unsafe privately rented homes. 

Where the council doesn't take action, it is technically possible for the tenant to take their landlord to court - but only if their rent is below £80 - a year. There is a requirement for landlords to ensure that homes are fit for human habitation but it's limited to rent levels last set in 1957.

Karen Buck MP is setting out today to change that.  

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Starter homes: another attempt to ignore the housing crisis

"Generation Buy". Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. For baby boomers and Generation X, buying a home was taken for granted, and no one calls those cohorts "Generation Buy". But David Cameron seems fond of the phrase and if it means that he’ll stretch every sinew to make it happen, fine.

First time buyer numbers plummeted a decade ago from a peak of 600,000 to 300,000 today, hence the rise of generation rent. Most private renters still want to buy a home, and the government recognises this; George Osborne said before this year’s election that he wants to double the annual number of new home owners.

But the Prime Minister won’t change anything about home ownership with the policy he talked about in his speech to Conservative Party Conference. “Starter homes” are his latest wheeze, following the failure of Help to Buy to revive aspiring home owners’ fortunes. These privately built homes will be sold at a 20% discount to first time buyers. If house prices keep rising at current trends, that means that in 2018, you’ll be able to buy a new-build flat at 2015 prices. Sorry Dave, but I won’t be opening the champagne quite yet.

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People's Housing Conference - an update

Generation Rent was due to present a workshop at the first People's Housing Conference next Saturday. Unfortunately this has been postponed.

There are a couple of events coming up - World Homeless Action Day and MIPIM - that activists can get involved with. More details and a full statement are available on the People's Housing Conference website.

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