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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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. 


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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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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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Tory conference announcements pull punches on housing crisis

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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