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
    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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Cross-party groups give their verdicts on renting

This week we’ve had two reports from the political mainstream calling for a better deal for renters. They add to the pressure we’ve been putting on the government to improve tenant security – and though we contributed to both, they don’t quite go as far as we’d like.

The first was from the Resolution Foundation, a think tank chaired by Conservative peer David Willetts and run by Torsten Bell, previously adviser to former Labour leader Ed Miliband. 

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Government launches secret landlord blacklist

Landlords get to ask tenants for a reference, but there's no way we can check what a prospective landlord is like. That's why we've long been calling for a central database that names and shames criminal landlords.

From today we've got one. But there's a catch: only local councils can access it.

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Fees ban concerns remain as Bill completes first stage

The Commons Housing Committee has published its report on the Draft Tenants' Fees Bill today, making recommendations to the government for when it formally introduces the Bill to Parliament. 

Generation Rent, along with charities, landlord groups, local councils and other industry organisations, gave evidence to the inquiry earlier in the year. There were positive outcomes on rents and deposits, but more work is needed to make sure the ban covers all fees - and that it's enforced properly.

Here's a summary of what we asked for - and what we got.

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Making deposits work for tenants

One reason the housing market is so stacked against renters is the high cost of taking our business elsewhere, so one of the ways we can make renters more powerful is to make moving house easier.

As our research site lettingfees.co.uk discovered, a typical household could save £404 when they move once the letting fees ban comes in. But a bigger cost - in the short term at least - is the damage deposit worth up to six weeks' rent.

We estimate that 86% of renters get most or all of their deposit back, but only after they've already moved into a new home, so achieving that involves raiding their savings, or borrowing money. 

That's why today we're calling on the government to start allowing renters to transfer part of their deposit to a new home once they've paid the final month's rent.  

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Planned shake-up of rental market complaints system

Last October, Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities (and now Housing) said that he wanted to start requiring landlords to join a redress scheme if they did not already use a letting agent. 

The government is now consulting on plans for this. The good news is it is considering doing away with the three different schemes tenants have to navigate when they have a complaint at the moment.

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Rented London: How local authorities can support private renters

Local council elections are taking place in London in a few months. And just like the 2016 Mayoral race, these contests will be dominated by the city's housing crisis. From Haringey to Kensington and Chelsea, Londoners are looking for secure and affordable homes, and asking their councils to respond.

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First-time buyers taking out longer loans to escape the rental sector

The latest English Housing Survey report is out today with the highlights of their findings for 2016-17. 

The private rented sector has continued to grow. The population now stands at 4.7m households, with 27% of families renting from a private landlord.

It is once again the largest tenure in London (if you separate outright and mortgaged ownership), and its doubling outside the capital in the past decade illustrates the national impact the housing crisis has had.

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Homes fit for humans one step closer

Third time was the charm for efforts to revive the right of renters to sue their landlord for safety failures.

Karen Buck's Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill was talked out in 2015, then a Labour amendment to the Housing Bill in 2016 was defeated. But today, after winning the support of more than 100 MPs who attended the Second Reading debate, the Bill passed unanimously and is a step closer to being law. 

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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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