More than 50 private renters demonstrated last night against the spate of revenge evictions that are taking place against tenants with the temerity to request safe and healthy living conditions.
Armed with placards, demonstrators descended on Westminster to push MPs to ban eviction of tenants when the House of Commons debates Sarah Teather's Tenancies (Reform) Bill on Friday.
GMB Young London organised the demo, which brought together Renters Rights London, PricedOut, Hackney Digs, Brent Advice for Renters and Generation Rent. MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell took time out from the chamber to give us their support.
Next week in the House of Lords, Peers will debate an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill that would ensure people have a choice in how they receive their utility bills and bank statements - enabling people to choose paper bills if that's best for them. The amendment, tabled by Conservative Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes, aims to place a duty on suppliers of utilities, including electricity, gas, water, telephone and internet connections.
On Saturday our director Alex spoke at the Trade Union Congress's Big Youth Debate, where he outlined the findings of a joint survey of 18-35 year olds that Generation Rent conducted with the TUC. We found that most young renters are living in unaffordable housing, while a third of young mortgage holders are being stretched.
The full details are below:
The London Borough of Islington has fined a landlord £280,000 for defying orders to rip down insubstantial housing built without permission in an outbuilding.
It's good to see a London council getting tough on landlords who flout planning law to the detriment of their tenants. Too often we see local authorities not taking action when there is a breach of planning law, or being thwarted by the four-year dwelling rule which exempts the landlord if the dwelling has been continuously occupied for four years.
Islington Council has shown that you can forcefully take on those who are ignoring planning regulations with the right political will. This is as much an issue of ensuring that tenants live in decent, spacious and well-kept properties as it is simply a planning dispute and Islington has recognised this in the work it is doing in the private rented sector.
And that colossal fine could go towards building some real houses.
It will come as no surprise to many that the latest research released from Savills shows that under 35s are paying the most per household on housing.
The number of renters is growing so fast there will soon be over 100 MPs who represent more renters than home owners.
In research Generation Rent has published today, the number of MPs who have more constituents who rent than own their home has risen from 38 in 2001 (6% of MPs) to 65 in 2011 (10%). If home ownership remains unaffordable and this trend continues, renters will start to outnumber home owners in 104 seats (16%) by 2021.
This represents a huge increase in political power for renters after a generation of neglect by successive governments. We are calling on MPs to give renters a voice in Westminster by becoming Renter Champions, and we need your help.
Image: Renter majorities in 2021
I'm very pleased to be delivering the MSc Sustainable Urban Development public lecture for Oxford University and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on 7th November.
I'll be exploring the failure of the housing market, the threat it poses to the economy and how a secondary, cost price housing market can fix the problem.
Not only is everyone welcome but it's also free to attend. I hoe you will come along and heckle wittily. But please do rsvp to David Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org
For almost a year Labour has been touting its Lyons Housing Review as the central plank of its offer for the 2015 manifesto. But its publication today, after so much foreplay, has left me disappointingly unsatisfied.
Michael James has been living in his flat in Tower Hamlets, East London, for 24 years. The building he lives in is getting on a bit and when he found a loose piece of concrete on the walkway, which could have fallen off and hurt children playing below, he asked his landlord to fix it. When this request fell on deaf ears, he went to the council.
(image from ITV London News)
When the landlord found out, Michael received an eviction notice. Tower Hamlets Renters has been helping Michael to fight the eviction and thankfully he is still there.
Last night, ITV London News reported on Michael's case and the new Private Member's Bill in Parliament that could stop these revenge evictions.