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 2015-10-08 12:38:04 +0100
    Foxwatcher you have given no credible arguments to support your position. What arguments you have put forward are without foundation and have done nothing but damage any credibility Generation Rent had left after their chief jumped ship just before Nationwide pulled all it’s funding (FYI Nationwide are one of the biggest BTL mortgage providers).
    I’m not sure if you work for GR and think you are campaigning for tenants rights but you are not, your comments do nothing but damage the future of the very people you purport to be campaigning for.
  • commented 2015-10-07 18:58:08 +0100
    That’s fine Foxwatcher but I do find it interesting that you take offence at being called a liar (your word not mine) when you accused me of offering false data in the example I have submitted to GR. Clearly double standards I’d suggest. I’ve even offered to meet with you and show you how the finance works but you’ve not even shown the slightest interest. You keep going on about the greed of landlords and refuse to actually look at the numbers. You have a bee in your bonnet about landlords supplying accommodation to those that want it but don’t have an issue with the supply of other essential needs. More double standards. Open your mind to these points and open your mind to the true finances of the industry, and lastly definitely open your mind to what the tax change will do because whatever you think, it’ll make things so much worse for FTB’s for many years to come.
  • commented 2015-10-07 18:44:55 +0100
    Just for the avoidance of doubt, all three of you are sticking your heads in the sand about the consequences of you, and all other private landlords, buying up entry level properties. You are hiding behind any convenient fabricated argument, but plain common sense says I’m right, never mind my own personal observations and experiences. I had friends who also have “property portfolios”. They also hide behind pathetic excuses and don’t use common sense, which is why they are ex friends. I don’t mind trying to persuade people in denial such as yourselves, but am not going to be called a liar or sworn at by the 2 James’. This is why I am not continuing this discussion, not because you have in any way persuaded me. You are selfish, greedy grasping people, even if you are sensible enough to realise that being “good” landlords means your cash cows are easier to maintain. I shall not be responding to any further posts on this subject at this time.
  • commented 2015-10-07 16:28:54 +0100
    Good points well made Stephen. FW may be interested to know that a Freedom of Information request was made to HMRC to know what studies had been done in terms of how many FTB’s have been kept out of the market by landlords and the response was there was no information available. In other words there has been no study done. Until a sensible and serious offering of credible data is put forward nobody really knows how big the problem is or even if there really is one at all. Sure there’s a lot of hype and media stating this (particularly from the owners of this site and say, The Guardian) but you can only make sensible decisions on sound data. For example, the Government might say (have said) that they are going to build masses of starter homes. How many is masses because what it means to you may be completely different to what it means to me. And if you don’t know how many you’re going to build then you don’t know what it is going to cost. And you don’t know how many you need to build without that sound data. It’s all smoke and mirrors without the numbers and that, I’m afraid, is where many people want to keep the issue. If numbers aren’t going to help the ‘cause’ then they won’t be published. I note that GR have changed from saying rents going up is ‘nonsense because rents are as high as they can be’ to acknowledging that rent increases are being ‘mumbled’ about in landlords groups and are clearly so worried that they have produced their video suggesting ways to negotiate against them (pointless as they’re being forced by George Osborne) and the change in their approach is, I’m sure, because they now understand the finance issues around doing this. They’ve seen the numbers! So, if the ‘issue’ of landlords allegedly keeping FTB’s out of the market is to hold water then we need those numbers. Maybe FW will be astounded at how low they are, maybe we’ll be astounded at high they are! However there are so many other things to take into account in that the world today is not the same as it was 5, 10 or 20 years ago. People’s expectations are rightly or wrongly, considerably higher. I know landlords that struggle to get paid their rents (even though they are actually housing benefit). Instead the tenant splashes out on Sky, Iphone 6’s, beer and fags and the list goes on. 20 years ago people had more respect for the roof over their heads. If FTB’s want to save for a deposit they will have to make sacrifices. Some will save enough, some won’t, as was ever the case. James Roberts makes good points as do you in that a lot of people don’t want to buy. I’ve had families that could buy but don’t want to for a variety of reasons. The reasons make sense to them but perhaps they wouldn’t to us. It’s personal choice, so what are the numbers that apply to FTB’s and how many of them could buy a home and would buy a home if it meant the sacrifices?
  • commented 2015-10-07 16:03:10 +0100
    Foxwatcher, I don’t think I did miss-understand your issue which is that there are not enough affordable properties for FTB’s which you believe is the sole fault of BTL landlords. It is insulting of you to paint all BTL landlords as greedy parasites feeding off the misfortune of a generation of young people who cant afford to buy their own property. The point I was making is that not all tenants want to buy a home and rely on the PRS for a decent rental home. Most landlords are not ripping tenants off and provide a good and much needed service.

    In my area FTB’s want two bed ‘starter’ homes and it is their demand for these which drives the price way above what a BTL landlord would pay due to the low return which in turn is governed by the rent achievable, as a consequence there is a shortage of two bed accommodation available to rent. On the other side one bed ‘Starter’ homes are bought by BTL landlords because FTB’s are not interested, and yes I sold one recently and not one FTB came to see it. Three and four bed homes are generally upsizing and therefore second or third purchases.

    On the subject of mortgages, a BTL landlord would need a minimum of 25-30% deposit and guaranteed rental income of 125% of the monthly rental, a FTB can in some cases get a 95%-100% mortgage, and can borrow four to five times combined salary, and help with the deposit from the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. I accept that in London in particular this may not be enough for FTB’s to get on the property ladder but when it comes to property London is an entirely different ‘country’ and should not be used to tar the rest of the country with the same brush.
  • commented 2015-10-07 15:13:05 +0100
    Foxwatcher, did you see my post from about 40 minutes ago? It seems to have disappeared from the main site but I can still get it on my phone. It was the one about me backing the mortgage of an FTB, and encouraging FTBs wherever possible. If you didnt see it thats a shame, as I’d hoped to put the word ‘selfish’ out of your mind when thinking of my actions. Some battles we will never win. While I see your point, you dont appear to see mine. That is a shame. Whether you believe it or not, I think we ultimately might want many of the same things.

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Blog

Huge victory for renters as Chancellor bans fees

There was some extra cash for "affordable" housing in Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement, but there was only really one big story from today:

The Government is going to ban letting fees!

This is a phenomenal achievement and the result of a tireless campaign over recent years by us, Shelter, Citizens Advice, the Debrief and local renter groups around the country.

Dozens of us investigated our local letting agents to build up the case for reform on www.lettingfees.co.uk. Thousands of us signed petitions and wrote to our MPs and the government listened. 

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The Redfern Review: A grown-up take on the housing crisis

Earlier this year, Labour commissioned the chief executive of the country's biggest house builder to lead a study of the decline in home ownership - the main reason politicians are worried about housing these days.

The Redfern Review has been published today. It shouldn't be a great surprise that its conclusions don't fit completely with our views - there's very little comment on the needs of private renters - but it does make an important contribution to the debate, and there's a lot we can agree on. Indeed, it takes a more objective approach than parties and industry players have done when they've tackled the same subject - there's refreshingly little dogma or evidence of Taylor Wimpey's commercial interests at play (though it plays down builders' profit-driven reluctance to build enough homes).

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Another result of London’s failed housing system – increased child poverty

Figures produced by the End Child Poverty Coalition this week show distressing levels of child poverty after housing costs are included, including within much of London.

The data breaks down levels of child poverty by parliamentary constituency, local authority, and local ward level, and shows that of the twenty constituencies with the highest levels of child poverty, seven are in London, while 11 out of 20 of the highest figures at local authority level are also in the capital.

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Here's another reason to boo rising house prices

I bet you thought rising house prices just made it more difficult for you to ever own your own home.

Well, it's even worse than that. 

Rising house prices increase your risk of being evicted. 

Already angry? Jump straight to our campaign page.

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The UK's first online landlord checking service

Paul Munday is the founder of RentProfile. For more useful websites for renters, visit our resources page.

A few years ago my brother David was the victim of a rental scam. It was this experience that led us to research the scale of the problem and start to think about ways to raise awareness and maybe even prevent this kind of fraud from happening in the first place.

We realised there is a compromise when seeking a rental today: either go through a letting agent which may charge excessive fees, or use a listings site where there's a chance of being scammed. It wasn't difficult to find fake listings on websites. Renters told us they were daunted by paying out thousands to a landlord (who is a stranger) but did so as they had little choice.

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Top 10 tips to cut your electricity bill

Thomas Karcher runs Kagoo.co.uk

With sky-high rents squeezing tenant’s budgets, bills are yet another unwelcome expense. However, it is possible to significantly reduce your electricity bill by following our Top 10 electricity saving tips.

1. Check your electricity tariff

As a tenant you are free to switch electricity suppliers without requiring permission from the landlord. Compare tariffs, duel fuel discounts and payment options to ensure you get the best deal.

Please note some agents try and tie tenants into energy deals with a preferred provider. Generation Rent would like to hear if you have been affected by this.

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The London Living Rent: Winners, Losers and the Rest of Us (Part 2 - tenancies)

In September, following the Mayor’s release of some details for this London Living Rent proposal, we blogged about concerns around how genuinely affordable this new tenure would be, and what was needed to ensure it was part of the solution to London’s housing crisis.

This follow-up piece looks at what wasn’t covered in the first blog – broadly, tenancy types – and how again they might best serve Londoners just looking for somewhere affordable and secure to live.

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Property industry tries to block government's best housing policy

With a new Prime Minister and a new Chancellor heavily modifying their predecessors’ policies on the deficit, “affordable” housing and schools, the property industry is hopeful that the government will pursue similar revisionism on its landlord tax policy.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors this week called on the government to scrap the stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let and second homes, while landlords have been in the High Court to challenge the withdrawal of mortgage interest tax relief for landlords paying higher rate income tax.

We’ve just learned that there will not be a judicial review of the government’s policy.

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Landlords and mortgages: what do we know?

Whenever you propose reform of private renting, the landlord lobby always says no, because "landlords couldn't afford it". Whether it's asking landlords to cover the cost of letting agent fees, to apply for a licence, to charge controlled rents, or to pay tax on their loans, we're asked to believe that they can't afford it. Then they threaten to raise rents - as if rents haven't already been outpacing inflation since the end of the recession.

This claim assumes that landlords are already paying large amounts of their revenue out again in costs. Some of them are, but we point out that the majority are not, because they don't have a mortgage.

For example, an interest-only mortgage of £150,000 at 4% costs £6000 a year. Rent on the £200,000 property bought with that mortgage might get you £10,000. Two thirds of private rented properties have no mortgage, and thus have significantly lower costs and capacity to absorb new regulatory requirements.

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Don't be fooled: Help to Buy is still dangerous

Yesterday, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, confirmed that the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme would wind up at the end of the year. This was arguably the more controversial of the two Help to Buy schemes announced in the 2013 Budget, but it was originally meant to last only 3 years. And with it gone, we're still left with a Help to Buy loan scheme that is highly counterproductive to any efforts to fix the housing crisis.

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