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 2015-10-07 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.
  • commented 2015-10-07 15:08:04 +0100
    James, R, I accept the apology about the mistaken post. Don’t you just love technology?! However, I don’t accept obscenity or being called a liar, and this is why I’m not carrying on past this post. My points are valid. You all need to understand the harm you are doing to an innocent generation, largely for your own selfish benefit. Good afternoon, finally.
  • commented 2015-10-07 15:01:55 +0100
    I accept all that Stephen including the reference to slanging match. I want people like Foxwatcher to just open their minds and look at the facts, there is no call for some of the less savoury remarks made. Nevertheless I challenge Generation Rent to show the example I sent on their site so that people such as FW can see they are misguided in terms of their understanding of returns on investments and so forth. Alas GR will almost certainly not do this as it undermines the message they’ve been putting out there for years. They have campaigned for the limiting of mortgage interest relief and the result will be catastrophic for families and individuals in the private rented sector. Rents will escalate significantly but many landlords will exit altogether or sell the properties that cannot take rent increases (particularly the tenants on housing benefits). In my extended example I showed an argument to say that it could be as many as 2.4 million people (though the example was taken from someone else). I personally believe that the very smallest number of displaced people will be in excess of 200,000 people. This is a dreadful situation. FW may well think this is a good thing because he will likely argue that it will cause house prices to fall to the level that FTB’s can buy at, but it is simply not the case for 3 reasons: 1. The tenant FTB’s will be paying higher rents and therefore have to save much longer for a deposit. 2. Lenders will not lend readily if house prices are dropping so FTB’s may need to put in a much larger deposit. 3. Any extra tax on a sector or product will have a knock-on effect. Much like if diesel escalates in price then people buying a car will look more favourably towards a petrol vehicle, the result is that manufacturers will sense greater demand and increase the price for them. The same will, in time, follow on with houses because of the tax change. It just adds pressure on house price inflation and to some extent or other will help to boost them. The only winner here lives at No 11 Downing Street and it seems he doesn’t care a jot for the tenants to be evicted, especially after many of them will already be hit with the changes to tax credits.

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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%.

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

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Giving people the right to a safe home

This week saw the introduction of Karen Buck MP's Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill, a private member's bill which will now have its second reading in parliament on Friday 19 January 2018.

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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National study finds tenants optimistic but rental market oppressive

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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Queen's Speech 2017: are you listening Westminster?

Before today's Queen's Speech, which set out the government's parliamentary programme for the next two years, there were two theories about how housing and private renting might feature, and what kind of prominence it would be given.

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If London housebuilding is reliant on overseas investment, where do we go from here?

Commissioned in Autumn 2016, the final report of the London Mayor’s investigation into the role of overseas investment in housing was published last week – but its findings can be read in very different ways.

Based on research by the LSE, its major conclusion and argument is that off-plan and pre-sales to the overseas market are integral to the current development model in London – and therefore also key to leveraging more affordable housing through section 106 agreements on those sites. 

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Renters vote - and cause another political upset

The results are in, and the UK's voters have delivered yet another shock.

The dust still has to settle but one thing is already apparent: the votes of renters had an impact yesterday. Twenty of the 32 seats that the Conservatives lost to Labour and the Liberal Democrats had more renters than average. Back at the 2011 census, those 32 seats had an average private renter population of 19% - it was 16% in the country as a whole.

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The choice tomorrow

We haven't been posting much on here for the past few weeks as we have joined forces with ACORN on #RentersVote for the duration of the election. 

There we have analysed each of the 5 UK-wide parties' manifestos and pulled it all together into one big graphic, so you can see what we made of their housing commitments side-by-side.

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