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 2015-11-20 20:46:07 +0000 · Flag
    32 the old school, the oval, stafford ST17 4US

    can hear everything next door does. neighbours also smoke weed. The landlord (cassandra smith) is extremally rude and arrogant and breaches contacts – informed me a week in advanced that I was to move out for no reason when the contract remained in date – she even tried to increase price of rent after I’d signed the contract. She also made a false claim on my deposit claiming 50 pounds for cleaning of the carpet when they were already clean.The landlord would never visit the property to complete any maintenance, and when maintenance was required she would refuse to do it or even pay for it.
    When landlord did visit would leave a mess for you to tidy after her, such as unwashed dishes, hair from her wig and rubbish that she hadn’t put in the bin.
    When I first moved in, the landlord had not cleared out the fridges and there was therefore out of date fish and meat that stunk the whole flat out. This was therefore a health and safety hazzard! Landlord had not cleaned the property when I moved in, which I therefore had to do – the majority of this was her hairs they were everywhere!
    Word of advice, do not rent off this woman, she is untrustworthy and unhelpful you will be better off renting from a reliable agency.
  • commented 2015-10-12 12:14:12 +0100 · Flag
    James, sorry, one last point I forgot to add. You say that the situation is different in London. Irrespective of where I may be located, people who need to be in or near London should not be disadvantaged, as you do seem to accept. And BTL activity as I describe carried out elsewhere can do nothing but bring the “London” scenario to other areas, so eventually it will be country wide. and then where would FTBs be? Wider picture needs thinking about…..
  • commented 2015-10-12 11:08:55 +0100 · Flag
    James M, just as you tell me I’ve made some fundamentally wrong assumptions concerning your personal lifestyle, I can assure you that your most recent post also has very much got the wrong end of several sticks about my situation. Let me just say that I absolutely agree with you about the financial choice FTBs have to make when deciding to purchase, and I agree indeed that far too many choose the iPhone/gym/flash car/too many visits to the nail salon etc. choices. But sensible ones don’t, they do save, have done for many years, and have a deposit which frankly exceeds the total purchase price of some properties in areas such as those examples you mention. They also have regular jobs earning above the reported national average wage for which they have studied for some years, never accumulated a student debt, paid their own way and done everything you would expect and more. Please believe me, I have done all the relevant research to back up my opinions as stated. It IS difficult to converse with strangers on emotive topics online, especially if, like me, you do not want to put any personal information out there. You have to trust your correspondents more than normal, which is why I took such exception to you effectively telling me I was lying with my example about the 17 BTLs v the 1 FTB. It’s quite true. I take your point about there “only” being 1 FTB interested, but that was on the first day of viewing, which happened to be a weekday when most FTBs would have been at work. So you could take the inference that only the BTLs were available on that day as they don’t have a “proper” 9 – 5 job, but are living off their property income. Additional FTBs did view the property in the evening and at the weekend, but it was sold to a BTL. I’ll also say that it’s impossible to generalise; there are always going to be BTLs with genuine motives who do try to help their tenants. You may be one, it’s impossible for me to tell. And there are regional variations in many factors. So, very tricky, as there will always be a counter argument. You have given some in this last post, but with respect, I still think you are hiding behind them, and not acknowledging my main, indeed only, point. If I want to buy your hypothetical fish and chips, I have a choice. I might choose a savaloy instead of fish, or just go for the bag of chips. Or indeed, only have bread and butter that night as I don’t have the cash available. But I HAVE to live somewhere, and if the only properties which I might be able to afford in the area I have to live in for work or family purposes are owned by BTLs, I’m forced to rent from them, or maybe stay at home with ageing parents well into my middle age, if they have a home of their own to offer me and the space to spare. This allows the BTLs to say they’re providing a vital function for me, whereas if I’d been able to outbid them, I’d have my own place. I assume you own your own house as well as those you rent out – isn’t it nice to know you do, or will one day, own it outright, then no-one can evict you, you can choose how to decorate and manage it without needing to consult the owner, you can leave a major asset to your kids…. I could go on and on about the advantages, but you must already know them. The vast majority of BTLs aren’t as “Good” as you make yourself to be (many examples all over the media), but you are ALL taking properties out of the market for fundamentally your own personal profit, albeit in the longer term, and denying that option to others at an earlier stage of their lives. If you choose to assuage your conscience by buying holiday homes for the disadvantaged, then that’s good, but it does highlight just how much profit you’re making to allow you to do so, and the cynical may choose to examine the tax break situation which this allows. I do accept some do choose to rent. If it’s their free choice, they will have presumably weighed the pros and cons before making it. If they are forced to rent, as in my example, it crushes the sprit out of them, and they wonder whether it’s all worth the effort. Constantly. This is why I think BTL for private individuals is wrong, immoral and should be banned. You gave an example earlier asking should profits from retail be banned. No, because I have a choice to shop there. If I owned your electricity, gas or water supply, there was no other option available to you, and I charged what I wanted, you’d be concerned, even if I charge a “fair” price. And if I could make a huge capital profit when I chose by selling it, would that be right? Of course not. So, thanks for your offer to meet up and justify things from your personal perspective, but it wouldn’t change things one jot. I’m not interested in how the figures may add up for you or any other individual BTL. I just feel the practice should not be allowed on moral grounds. I could go on, it’s an enormous topic, but I don’t think we’re going to convince each other.
  • commented 2015-10-12 09:12:47 +0100 · Flag
    Hello again Foxwatcher. I’ve been trying to not get drawn into commenting on your posts but I’m so surprised by some of the things you’re saying I’m afraid I couldn’t resist any longer.

    It’s a shame you don’t acknowledge any of our points but continue to say that we’re some sort of evil wrongdoers when you’ve never actually met us and see what we do.

    So, our lettings businesses are just that. We run businesses and we take a profit from them, albeit small. I have responded before to your accusation that we drive expensive cars and I pointed out my van is old, indeed it has done over 132,000 miles. My wife’s car is not far behind that mileage so you see our little profit does not afford us the lifestyle you claim we have. Similarly, we have had no break at all this year but we hope to have 4 nights away in the UK in half-term, so no foreign holidays.

    Tell me, if I had a fish and chip shop, which of course provides an essential service of food, would you be OK if I made a profit on my sales? I’m guessing you would otherwise the business would collapse. And if I sold the business would you allow me a profit on it if I could make one? I’m guessing you would so why is it different for us, if indeed we manage to make a profit on a property sale.

    And for the umpteenth time I will offer to meet with you and show you the numbers but you have never even shown an interest and instead accused me of falsifying them without sight of them.

    Instead you continue to bang on about how we’re cheating FTB’s out of houses, yet in the one example you’ve offered of a house for sale you say only one FTB was after the house. Here’s a challenge for you, let’s meet I’ll show you the numbers, you supply me with the address and I’ll do some digging into who actually bought it, etc, and we can examine why your FTB wasn’t successful. Does that sound like a good deal?

    Now I absolutely need to correct you on landlords forcing up prices and forcing FTB’s out. Firstly price is influenced by supply and demand, that is for sure, but the real driver behind price is the availability of credit. When we had the recession, or credit crunch, prices dropped like a stone. Indeed in my area, a 3 bed terraced house went from about £110k to under £70k. I saw some around £65k, yet there wasn’t a queue of FTB’s out of the estate agents doors. Why?? Because they couldn’t get a mortgage. Actually very few people could get a mortgage hence the prices dropped to where they did. Now interest rates have been rock bottom for years and credit is easy to get, for most, not the FTB I’m afraid. This is largely due to the mortgage market review which has meant that finances are heavily scrutinised. If you have mobile phone contracts, gym membership, or any other monthly regular outgoings it counts against you!! Landlords didn’t come up with these rules, the financial services industry did and how do you think it affects youngsters that have to join David Lloyd, Virgin Active or One Leisure? And of course they simply have to have an Iphone 6 with unlimited download and so forth.

    I would even go so far as to say that landlords actually help to keep the price of starter homes down because of the enormous number of HMO’s (Houses in Multiple Occupancy) that we own across the country. Imagine if they were all shut down overnight and all those tenants started looking to buy a one or two bed house or flat. Do you take my point there? A starter home might house one or two people whereas an HMO could house 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 or more people.

    Never fear though FW. Some top economists around the world predict a correction in house prices within the next two years, and particularly in London, which is the most over-priced city in the Western world. This will knock on to areas outside the capital and if FTB’s take action now then they may (and I do mean ‘may’) be in a position to take advantage. If I was talking to a FTB now I would suggest that they save like they’ve never saved before. Cancel the gym, downgrade the phone and cut outgoings to a bare minimum. If prices drop by 30% again then they need to be able to act at a time when it will likely be difficult to get a mortgage again. Will the average FTB do it??? I doubt it very much. They prefer to whine and moan that landlords are evil wrongdoers cheating them out of their right of home ownership.
  • commented 2015-10-09 18:15:01 +0100 · Flag
    Well I don’t donate the profits to charity because as from now I will have to donate both profits, losses and my day job to the government. But I suppose keeping my rents at 25% below market value for 10 years is a form of kindly donation to the tenants. And yes, very much part of the reason I do this is because I enjoy helping people back on their feet. Although I’m sure you donate far more time and money than me to good causes. Did I ever tell you about the time I funded the purchase of a holiday cottage in Derbyshire just so a local group for mentally handicapped children could have free holidays in perpetuity…?
  • commented 2015-10-09 13:15:05 +0100 · Flag

Have something to voice?

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.


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. 

Read more

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.

Read more

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:

Read more

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]

Read more

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.  

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Know your rights as a UK tenant


Each year 1.5 million private renter households move home - that's about a third of the renter population. And each year, around 200,000 people move into private renting for the first time.

Whether you're moving out of your childhood home, or this is your fifth move in as many years, make sure you're aware of your rights. We have worked with the TDS Foundation to produce a guide to your rights as a tenant. The position of renters is slowly improving - today protections against revenge evictions come into force and landlords are required to fit smoke alarms - but it is still easy to get ripped off if you aren't prepared.

Printed copies of the guide are available from Generation Rent on request.

Once you've brushed up, test yourself with a quiz we've put together with the Mirror.


Read more

Improve renting in Wales: your help needed

The Welsh Assembly is debating a Bill that would reform the private rented sector. There are bits that are good about it but also bits that are bad, so renters in Wales need to make their voices heard to make sure the legislation actually improves things. 

Read more

"Success" looks like 1 million new homes

Tonight, BBC One's Inside Out looks at the housing shortage and the desperate need to build more homes. This morning's headlines quote the housing minister Brandon Lewis telling the programme that success for the government on housebuilding would be building 1 million more homes by the end of the Parliament. 

Read more