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 2016-02-07 14:46:11 +0000
    By the way, James, as your memory is a little selective today, I did say in our previous discussion that I was happy to accept that you may not be making a huge profit day to day on your income from your rental empire, but that your major financial killing would be made at some future point when you sold up. Meanwhile, your tenants are financing the means necessary for you to do this. I’m sure you’re happy to be corrected – you’re very keen that people read things thoroughly after all.
  • commented 2016-02-07 14:28:20 +0000
    Well James McKindley, what can I say? Generation Rent is a bridge, pass over it, but build no house there.
  • commented 2016-02-07 14:27:24 +0000
    It breaks my heart to say this but I am sick and tired of having to listen to fat cat rentiers whinging on and on about their profit margins.
  • commented 2016-02-07 14:20:54 +0000
    Not brainwashed, James. Just weighing the facts and coming to a conclusion that is obvious to everyone not on the gravy train. Try looking at it from someone, anyone, else’s perspective, and put your bank statements to one side. I concede that there are practical issues which will need to be addressed, but they should never have been allowed to develop in the first place. The fact that they DO exist should not be presented as a defence by those benefitting from the injustice caused. You’re just hiding behind a convenient shield. Little point in discussing an issue with someone whose head is so far in the sand and who’s probably got a whole lifestyle and life plan based on this selfishness.
  • commented 2016-02-07 14:17:46 +0000
    Well Paul Taylor, what can I say. I’m not whining on about margins at all. I’ve been quite happy never increasing rents on a tenant in situ but Osborne is forcing it. And now, I will have to do so on an annual basis because it is generally accepted that rents will have to go up by 25 to 30% by 2020. That can’t be done in one go so will cause most landlords to increase by about 5% annually. I have one property that I’ve owned for years and always let it out at the same rent despite having had several tenants in it over that time. I have just re-let it and would have done so at the same price but I can no longer do that. It’s been let very quickly at nearly 15% higher than the old price. My only motive there was to prepare myself for the effects of C24, and that’s the way it is regardless of what you believe.
  • commented 2016-02-07 14:12:34 +0000
    I’m still not getting though here am I? I’ve previously offered to meet you and show you the numbers but you declined, well actually you mostly ignored the offer and probably because you’re scared of being proven wrong because you love to claim that landlords are making vast profits. Now I point you at lots of good references that will also show you that your campaign is misplaced. But most of all you still haven’t grasped that it’s not landlords that will be ‘sucking the life’ out of the tenants, it’s George Osborne. Do you still not understand that this isn’t a little tax change, it’s one ENORMOUS deviation from how every other business in the land is taxed. Osborne himself has said elsewhere that a tax on turnover is wrong, yet here he is tantamount to doing it. Mortgaged landlords have choices about the extra tax burden.

    1. Absorb it, which they will only be able to do if their mortgages are very small and/or they charge extremely high rents. Actually they can also do so if they’re prepared to subsidise the shortfall from other income, but why should they do that? In Australia you can actually offset a loss from rental income against other income so that encourages low rents. You can’t do that here. Indeed in pretty much every European country other than this taxation encourages the private sector to invest in property. If we’d had the same regime here as most of them we may not even have a housing crisis because so much investment would have gone into it.

    2. Sell up. That in most cases will mean evicting tenants. Mostly it’ll be the poor performing properties that cannot survive this attack and that is particularly those properties that house HB tenants. So they will throw themselves at Councils who are already coping with the worst situation of temporary accommodation and associated costs that we’ve ever seen. I can tell you that most councils across the land are all too aware at how serious this Osborne attack is and they are extremely worried. But that is what you want FW! You want families ripped out of their homes, some of them have been in them for years. You want kids taken out of schools because the only alternative accommodation is miles away. You want families split up because there isn’t temporary accommodation that can house them all. You want to give them all that and no hope of them finding other homes because landlords can no longer afford to take HB. Even if there are landlords that can do so because their mortgage commitments are so low, they can only house one family, and that’s all fine from your point of view. That is what you are proposing by your desire for landlords to sell up. That really is so sad. And all this is OK because FW wants to buy a house.

    On top of that Osborne is doing it himself with the pay to stay policy. How do you feel about that then? He’s doing what you accuse landlords of doing in increasing rents and squeezing the blood out of the tenants. Yet James Fraser (the last Property 118 link I sent) and I, like many other professional landlords do our best to keep rents down low.

    3. Upgrade tenants. Yes that’s as callous as it sounds. If a tenant can’t afford the Osborne imposed tax they will have to be replaced with ones that can. See above for the other options.

    4. Increase rents. Like I keep telling you all the extra rent is going to Government coffers. Please understand that and stop going on about landlords bleeding the tenants dry. I’ve covered most of this situation already.

    Osborne is completely aware of what will happen due to C24. It happened in Ireland and he used to bleat on about how good the Irish economy was so he knows full well what will happen, though later when the economy collapsed he did a complete U turn. He doesn’t care about landlords and he doesn’t care about tenants. It’s all about getting the tax in. If landlords sell up he’ll get CGT, if they incorporate he’ll get CGT and SDLT, if they choose to put rents up then he’ll take all that as IT instead. Open your eyes, he is not a super hero that is going to whisk you away to Never Never Land. He is selling off the country’s assets that have been around for hundreds of years in some cases. Mostly these assets bring in millions of pounds a year but they’re being sold to facilitate his only priority of paying down the deficit. Can you really not see that C24 and everything else is just about that? You have been brainwashed.

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Landlord licensing works - yet the government is delaying renewal of the most successful scheme

Since the east London borough of Newham introduced mandatory borough-wide licensing of all private landlords in 2013, improvements in the sector have been indisputable. Criminal landlords are being driven out of the borough, standards and safety in the sector have improved and enforcement has dramatically increased.

Yet with the scheme due to expire on 31 December 2017, government is now more than four weeks overdue in making a decision on approval of a new, five-year scheme, to start in the new year.

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At the General Election in June, Labour won a majority of the votes of the under-40s. This was a wake-up call for the Conservative Party, many of whose members are now filled with a new urgency to address this cohort's biggest concerns - including a rather large house-shaped one.

Their annual conference has duly been bursting with new housing policies, particularly for private renters. But while they are (for the most part) improvements, the proposals fail to address the urgency of the housing crisis.

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How new rent controls could work

The biggest talking point of Jeremy Corbyn's speech to Labour Party conference this week was rent controls. Since 2014 Labour has been proposing to limit rises in rents during tenancies, but there was something different this time around.

This is what the Labour leader said on Wednesday:

We will control rents - when the younger generation’s housing costs are three times more than those of their grandparents, that is not sustainable. Rent controls exist in many cities across the world and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections.

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The harsh reality of the UK’s sometimes savage housing market is that more people are renting their homes until later in life but paying more for the privilege of doing so than their parents did.

In England the number of private renters has increased from two million to 4.5 million between 1999 and 2015 while renting a home has been eating up a steadily increasing proportion of renters’ income, rising from 8% during the late 1960s to over 27% today, on average. Here we look at the key trends driving up rents across the nation in recent years.

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Landlord tax evasion - what do we know?

A few weeks ago, the London Borough of Newham revealed that 13,000 local landlords had failed to declare their rental income, prompting estimates that £200m of tax was being evaded in London alone.

Today, Parliament has published an answer from the Treasury Minister Mel Stride to Frank Field, who asked what assessment the government had made of this. The Minister directed him (and us) to this information on tax gaps (pp54-5).

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MPs debate letting fee ban

The ban on letting fees is currently the government's flagship policy to help renters, and we're currently waiting for a draft bill to be published, which follows a consultation that we and hundreds of our supporters responded to.

In the meantime, MPs gave us a taste of how the legislation will proceed in Parliament yesterday morning by debating the subject for the first time since last year's Autumn Statement.

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London Housing - a new opportunity to push for greater security

Delayed from August, this week saw the publication of the London Mayor's draft housing strategy, which is now open for consultation for three months.

Covering all housing policy from leasehold reform to tackling street homelessness, the strategy also has a specific section devoted to the private rented sector. With a quarter of London's children in the private rented sector, and millions of renters living in poverty, we all know how urgently action is needed.

We'll be coming back to parts of the strategy in the coming weeks, but here we just focus on the main headlines for renters.

The strategy builds on the Mayor's manifest commitment and previous public statements, and although the Mayor lacks the powers to fundamentally transform London's PRS, there are nonetheless some steps forward and potential to go further.

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The Other Waitrose Effect - the hidden costs of gentrification

Is a new Waitrose in your neighbourhood a cause for excitement, or a troubling omen for your future in the area? 

A new study reveals that the high-end supermarket is linked with rising evictions of private tenants in areas they open up in.

The analysis, conducted by Oxford University academic David Adler for Generation Rent, found that the arrival of a new store was associated with an increase in the number of evictions of between 25% and 50%.


Great cheese selection, but will you be around to enjoy it?

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The bill seeks to update the law requiring rented homes to be presented and maintained in a state fit for human habitation - updated because the current law only requires this of homes with a rent of up to £80 per year in London, and £52 elsewhere!

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Every year the government runs the English Housing Survey. General findings are published in February, then, to the delight of housing geeks, the juicy detail on the different subsections of the market arrives in July. We've taken a look at the findings for 2015-16, published last week.

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