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 2017-12-29 16:22:32 +0000
    James Hinchcliffe – Hi. I did slightly misinterpret your original post, my apologies. But we are in full agreement that this site should be actively campaigning to ban private buy to let parasites. That’s why I joined, several years ago, but I’ve never had any reply from those who run this site on any post, so I’ve basically given up. My MP, the Chancellor and the Housing Minister are similarly uninterested.
  • commented 2017-12-29 15:46:35 +0000
    Hi Foxwatcher. Thanks for the reply but I’m not sure how you’ve read my comment as me being happy to rent privately. The point is that I have little choice. Remember that my entrance into adulthood was during the late 90s – the exact time at which council housing began to become more and more scarce. I made some tentative efforts to source council housing around that time (and later) but was always discouraged by the lengthy waiting lists and also told that as a single young male I wasn’t a priority (which is fair enough in many ways). The only thing I ever was offered was a high rise flat in my late 20s (via a council-cum-housing association I might add – ie not even fully state owned) and in no way suggesting that this is beneath me (trust me – I’ve lived in worse) I took the decision that I could source something a little more suitable in the private market for only slightly more rent and have been in the private market ever since. Suggesting that this “choice” makes me some sort of socialist traitor is surely a hopelessly ultra left position. You could just as easily claim that I’m not a socialist because I work for a profit making organisation and buy consumer products (you know, like, live under capitalism and not in some kind of self-created socialist vacuum). It’s a baseless accusation. But anyway, I don’t want to argue with you as we’re essentially in agreement and I don’t like to argue with others on the left (much). I completely agree that “buy to let” should be illegal. Do you (or anyone) know how I can become actively involved in Generation Rent (ie attend meetings, campaign on behalf of tenants etc.)? That’s basically why I joined the site. Cheers, James
  • commented 2017-12-28 19:15:35 +0000 · Flag
    James Hinchcliffe – Hi. You say that you find “buy to let” morally repugnant and it offends your socialist principles, yet you have apparently happily rented from a private landlord for many years, lining their pockets with both your rent and the capital increase of the property. I can’t see how you can imply that you’re happy with this situation. Buy to let needs to be made illegal.
  • commented 2017-12-28 18:46:48 +0000
    Hi there. Great site and been meaning to join for a while. I’m 43 and have always rented – as someone who has been single for most of my adult life and on a modest income I’ve long since been resigned to the fact that I’m likely to rent for the rest of my life. More than this, however, I’ve never quite been able to understand the obsession with owning a home. My needs are quite modest and as long as I have somewhere decent to live I’m perfectly happy to rent. What tangible difference does it make to anyone’s life whether they own or rent their home, after all? Your home is your home at the end of the day. I spent most of my 20s and 30s somewhat baffled with this very British obsession of home ownership and in many ways it helped shape my socialist outlook on life. To me this weird obsession is a fundamental part of our increasingly rampant and unsustainable consumerist outlook and basically a legacy of Thatcher.

    There are of course objective reasons why home ownership is desirable but when you boil these down they are not really positive reasons but more accurately just the avoidance of increasingly negative (and even punitive) conditions facing renters. Who would want to have to put up with exorbitant rents on short, insecure terms and often in low quality housing? No-one, obviously. But is the sensible response to this that everyone owns their own home? Clearly not, as the current economic situation confirms. It isn’t (and never was) even remotely possible possible and the Thatcherist dream thus built on sand. Put simply, there is nothing wrong with renting and most people should rent. It’s time for us all to abandon our prejudices and our inflated (and often wholly unrealistic and unnecessary) aspirations and instead look at this through the correct end of the telescope.

    My current home is a perfect case in point of where things went wrong – an old-fashioned terrace house in an inner city area with a fair bit of wear and tear but nonetheless perfect for my needs. This house screams “council house” and had I been born 30 years earlier I would be living here on a modest rent with a permanent fixed tenancy (save any criminal activity etc.) and with access to quick and efficient repairs. And I would be perfectly happy with that. Instead, however, through no fault of my own (except for not having a vast income or wealthy parents) I rent for a small fortune from a private landlord whose parents most likely bought the property under Thatcher’s “Right To Buy” scheme at some point in the 1990s. I also have only 6 months guaranteed tenancy at any given time and little access to decent repairs. Basically the home is fine but the terms under which I rent it (and my level of security) are anything but. To add to my predicament, I am also acutely aware from first hand experience that there is a shortage of similar housing out there should I have to move (not to mention the cost and upheaval).

    What is needed, clearly, is not a vain, economy-busting push for more people to buy properties but 2 things:

    (1) A massive program of new council house building, and

    (2) Vast swathes of old council properties like mine to be taken back into council ownership and rented on an affordable, long-term basis.

    The current system is simply unsustainable and creating an enormous gulf between the lucky (my landlord) and unlucky (myself). I have no desire to turn the tables and become one of the “lucky” ones (this goes entirely against my socialist principles anyway – “buy to let" I consider to be morally repugnant, for example) but merely wish to see the social housing rental market – which should be the vast majority of housing in any sensible society – to be designed in favour of renters and not of private landlords out to make a quick buck. This will not be achieved without an almighty fight but I am very happy to add my energies to the cause. Cheers again and happy to hear from you if I can help.
  • commented 2017-12-22 06:10:00 +0000
    I am 37 weeks pregnant,planning homebirth.Told agency and landlord to.Couple of days ago we received letter that we need to move out.We can’t move earlier as it is a fix 12 month contract so we have to stay till mid Feb.When we rented this place we payed around 800£ fee where we agreed (in word) in long term tenancy,and now Cubit and West through us on street in winter.And they have all the right to do so…
  • commented 2017-11-28 15:58:29 +0000
    I’m sick of agents raising there fees and non refundable deposits to whatever they like! There needs to be proper legislation control over agent fees and terms to stop them ripping off private tenant. My recent flat hunt has unearthed huge discrepancies in fees and terms, where is the protection for the tenant?

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Fitness for Human Habitation: Another milestone in the long road to a decent private rented sector

In another sign of the growing importance of the renters' movement in the UK, government announced over the weekend that it would be supporting measured outlined in Karen Buck MP's upcoming private member's bill, which would allow private and social tenants to take legal action against their landlord where their home is not deemed 'fit for human habitation'.

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The return of 'fitness for human habitation' - will MPs finally give us this protection?

In ten days time, parliament breaks for the Christmas recess.

When they return in January, they will have an opportunity to support a simple change in law that would provide better protections for renters.

The question is, given that they have missed this opportunity before - will parliament do the right thing this time?

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Getting the best from Newham's renewed landlord licensing scheme

This week those campaigning for a better private rented sector received an early Christmas present with the announcement that the Communities Secretary had approved the majority of Newham's proposal for a renewed borough-wide landlord licensing scheme.

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Autumn Budget - an anticlimax for renters

The big news in today's Budget was the abolition of stamp duty for most first-time buyers. 

From today if you buy your first home you'll pay nothing to the government on the first £300,000 (unless it costs more than £500,000 and you need to be super-rich before you're in that territory).

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Life in the rental market: what the future holds for older renters

Most debates around housing focus on young adults, the drastic fall in their rate of home ownership and ways to boost the number of first time buyers.

Far less attention, however, is given to the vast numbers of renters who are already too old to get a mortgage and face a lifetime of renting instead. As more of them reach retirement age, the state will start paying more of their rent, and faces enormous costs unless it makes some fundamental changes to the housing market. Because politicians only operate with 5-year horizons, few are fretting about the implications of lifetime renting.

But we are, and today we publish a report co-authored with David Adler of Oxford University: Life in the Rental Market.

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A glimpse of Tory tenancy reform?

An intriguing exchange in the House of Commons this week may contain clues about the government's big forthcoming announcement of reforms to tenancies. 

During a debate on temporary accommodation, the backbench Conservative MP Bob Blackman said this:

The greatest cause of homelessness is the end of an assured shorthold tenancy. They usually run for six months and at the end of that period families often have to move. The solution is clear: we need longer tenancies and more security of tenure for families, but also assurances to landlords that they will get paid their rent and that the tenants will behave themselves in accordance with the contract they have signed. I ask the Minister to update us on where we are going with lengthening tenancies, which would dramatically reduce homelessness at a stroke. Perhaps we can do that.

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Insecure tenancies drag down quality of life

With home ownership unaffordable and council housing unavailable, private renters are living longer in a tenure that wasn't designed to provide long term homes. The constant threat of your landlord deciding to sell up or move back in means that you have none of the stability that a home is supposed to provide.

New polling from Survation, commissioned by us, exposes the impact this has on tenants' lives. It shows that private renters are more anxious about the security of their home and this is holding them back from investing time in their home and their local community. 

Survation.jpg

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Slowly, but surely, a letting fees ban is coming

Almost a year after Phillip Hammond announced the Government's intention to banning letting fees, we now have a draft bill before parliament.

Since that announcement, we have had a consultation on the ban, and of course a new government, but it has remained on the legislative agenda thanks to the concerted campaigning of renters across the country.

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Disrupting the market to help tenants

The internet has already shaken up the music industry, television, taxis and self-catering holidays. Investors are now looking for the next industry to disrupt with technology and property seems ripe for the picking. 

As the national voice of private renters, we agree that the property industry as it stands fails its consumers in too many ways, so things need to change. Even when we succeed in changing the law, like the forthcoming letting fees ban, we still need to ensure that it's implemented properly and the industry adapts in the right way. 

But we can't allow slick and revolutionary new services or initiatives to simply treat tenants as cash cows in the same way that many letting agents and landlords currently do. So this is what we think the market needs - and how the tenant should benefit.

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Lodgers need protection too

Where’s my deposit? It is no joking matter for nearly 300,000 tenants whose landlord has not protected their deposit.

This has left many out of pocket without a clue of how they will manage to raise another deposit - the average amount in London stands at £1040 for their next property.

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