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 2015-02-04 17:00:34 +0000
    Private landlords seem to feel they hold some power over their tenants. mine began trying to place more restrictions on me within the property that weren’t stipulated in the contract (use of living spaces/ guests etc) it’s left me feeling insecure and uncomfortable in sonewhere that should be my home. My landlord (who is male) also feels it is appropriate to just pitch up at the property whether I am there or not and gives me no pre warning. I do not feel this is appropriate but also don’t feel I can really say much as he could just kick me out.
  • commented 2015-02-04 10:15:15 +0000
    Ms stanton,I raised the comment regarding discrimination of LEA tenants on this forum last summer. Thank you for reminding the new readers. Yes many are pensioners & others are mature students, working professional on 0-h or hour-contracts or simply people in employment who’s wages doesn’t cover the rent. rent poverty has prevented me from leaving a job that’s making me ill & to do a Masters Degree. As a teacher it would really benefit my career to obtain a Masters & as a subject specialist I would be more suited as a L4 Lecturer. My point with the last comment is that rent slavery & poverty ruins careers& health not just of the renter but also those involved in the renters life.
  • commented 2015-02-04 10:06:09 +0000
    I agree with Ms Morgan and would like to add that I believe that agents make their commission on ’ renewal of contract’, for some that means the tenant sign for another terms, for others, ending the tenancy and most likely evading explainhow the reason for it to both parties. The standard short hold tenancy therefore enable tenants & landlords to eat out of the agents hands.
  • commented 2015-02-04 08:04:57 +0000
    Good interview bu Alex Hilton on breakfast TV just now, talking about Letting Agents charges to tenants. As a landlord I am charged hundreds of pounds per tenant find, and I am not happy that the agents are fleecing my new tenants for a service that I have already paid for in full! However I do think Letting Agents should be able to take a modest refundable deposit from prospective tenants upon receipt of their application forms, to deter time-wasters.
  • commented 2015-02-04 08:01:05 +0000
    Can we lobby for rent control and anti-discrimination towards tenants on benefits, age, parents etc?
  • commented 2015-01-24 19:38:12 +0000
    The day Housing Benefit was introduced was the day subsidised rents should have been abolished. They must be abolished now. It is unjust, also bad for flexible labour movement, to have “social” tenants who may be well off, being subsidised by those paying full market rents. Adding insult to injury, those with the “Golden lottery ticket” of a council house will have security for life, (which may not be in even their own interests, if they need to move for jobs or to care for relatives) Currently, the perverse result of well intended long out-dated housing policies mean the struggling “Have-nots” are subject for life to the insecurity of two month notice "No-Fault " evictions.

    Making social housing rents equal to the market rate would free up stock, as occupants shifted themselves around to live in the places, and at the prices, most suited to their changing needs. Those who were too poor to pay could do the same as everyone else, and apply for Housing Benefit. The inequality of security could be overcome by a National Tenancy Agreement (N.T.A.)

    That would be a tweak on the Deed of Assurance (devised by Property 118., and using, in the main, the existing legislation. ) Every existing and future tenant could live under the same equal terms. All tenants are then bound by the existing A.S.T. (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) rules, including usually giving one month’s notice, and getting usually two, as a Section 20 No-Fault repossession, or else being evicted for breach of terms (e.g. non payment of rent or antisocial conduct) . But the national introduction of a standardised version of the Deed of Assurance, for all tenancies, could simultaneously provide them the benefit of a default assumed lifelong tenancy, if they wish, unless the landlord chooses to evict them for breach or else because for his own reasons he needs to recover the property (e.g. for sale).

    The difference would be, a National Tenancy Agreement scheme would give social justice and security for all. It would put all tenants on fair and equal footing, and would give an incentive for landlords to retain a trouble-free good tenant, because it would impose a modest proportionate penalty for No-Fault eviction. Tenants have an incentive to behave well and to take extreme care of their home, if it is theirs for as long as they want it. (They also have an incentive to attend to minor matters at their own time and expense, and also to draw the owner’s attention to such things as overflowing gutters or missing roof tiles, which could be missed on a routine periodic check)

    An extra supply of housing should soon become available as those in social housing realise they may as well live wherever it suits them, now, instead of remaining trapped where a local council once put them, possibly decades previously. They will have no more and no less security of tenure, and will pay the same market rents as everyone else, so they may as well select the type and location of their tenancy, just like anyone else. N.B. The cry that “The Council can’t give me a place” will no longer be relevant, when social housing and private housing is all on equal tenancy terms.

    Perhaps the penalty could reasonably be set as one month’s rent for every completed full year of tenancy, if the landlord evicts a No-Fault tenant. The existing government schemes to protect tenant deposits could also store a “Sinking Fund” of these amounts, so there is no doubt the tenant will get both his deposit and his compensation. This would not be entirely onerous on landlords, because it would greatly increase the likelihood of tenants treating the property with care, and it would greatly reduce the likelihood of landlords having “void” periods between tenancies. The Sinking Funds could be paid to local or central government, when tenants freely choose to leave for their own reasons.

    ( This would a) feed a source of extra tax revenue, and b) discourage landlords from “constructive eviction” tactics, i.e. trying to “encourage” a No-Fault tenant to leave “voluntarily”)

    There would be no financial shock to any landlord, or his mortgage funder, because the financial liability is already paid, and safely stored along with the tenant’s deposit. (It could be included as routine that all tenants pay every twelfth month’s rent directly into their Deposit Protection Scheme, on the understanding that part of the money, unlike the Deposit itself, will never be theirs to reclaim, unless the landlord evicts them through no fault of their own)

    The advantages appear to include: 1/ Freeing up housing stock 2/ Introducing incentives to care well for property 3/Introducing social justice and fairness between all tenancies equally 4/ Providing the entire population with either security of tenure or reasonable compensation if deprived of that 5/ Putting all tenants on equal footing regarding paying market rent or else claiming Housing Benefit during periods of low income (instead of, as at present, subsidising a selection of buildings, regardless of the wealth of any particular occupant) 6/ Instantly producing increased revenue to local authorities and housing associations, as they charge market rents 7/ Quickly beginning to reduce calls on public funds a) from people who could be cared for by relatives, if they are free to move b) from people who could take up employment if they were free to move. 8/ Beginning a trickle of income to local or central government, as the Sinking Funds begin to release money which has been held in Deposit Protection, each time a tenant who has completed a twelve month tenancy (or pro rata multiples of years) chooses to move of his own free will, thus releasing funds which had been set aside to compensate him if his move had been forced by the landlord when he had not breached his tenancy terms.

    The latter point raises the need to include exceptional provisions, regarding already existing tenancies. Any compensation due when either social or private landlords wish to repossess from a No-Fault tenant, under the new National Tenancy Agreement, would begin to be calculated from the date of the relevant legislation (or amended legislation, as the case may be).

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Blog

Vent your rent, to music

If, like me, you wish this generation had its own Joe Strummer or Woody Guthrie, writing protest songs about the social challenges of the day - i.e. bad housing* - well, you're in luck. A new choir of private renters in London, called Section 21, is being announced this Saturday at Royal Festival Hall in London. 

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Enjoy the summer - but come back ready to end the London housing crisis

As is so often the case in the week before politicians break for the summer, we’ve had a raft of announcements, predictions and indicators in the last week – including a number of focused reports today from English Housing Survey data.

Coupled with announcements made at yesterday’s Mayoral Question Time (the last until September), private renters in London have a diagnosis and some solutions to ponder over the summer.

But equally, it is hoped that these reports will have brought added impetus to plans being written by the housing team at City Hall, ready to hit the ground running after the summer. 

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Want your letting fees back?

Michael Green is the founder of CaseHub. 

Over the past six months, I have been working with some of the country’s leading barristers to put together a lawsuit that proves how most letting fees in England and Wales are unlawful.

The good news is that they agree.

We now need to take that case to court. The good news is that if it wins, renters will be entitled to get their letting fees back, and in future some of them might be stopped entirely. 

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New PM, new diagnosis of the housing crisis

Before she was fast-tracked to 10 Downing St - in one of many dramatic twists in recent weeks - Theresa May gave us a glimpse of how her housing policy might differ from David Cameron's.

Launching her leadership campaign in Birmingham on Monday, May went further than Cameron has ever done in describing the the damage that house price inflation causes:

"...unless we deal with the housing deficit, we will see house prices keep on rising. Young people will find it even harder to afford their own home. The divide between those who inherit wealth and those who don’t will become more pronounced. And more and more of the country’s money will go into expensive housing instead of more productive investments that generate more economic growth." 

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Open letter from Butterfields tenants: 'We do not intend to give up our homes without fighting'

Private tenants on the Butterfields Estate in London's Waltham Forest are facing evictions from affordable homes they have lived in for years, after they were sold on without their knowledge. Previously owned by a charitable trust that ensured tenancies were secure and affordable, the two streets of homes were bought up by a private business (BE17Ltd) at the start of this year.

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Housing emergency drives 'blue light' workers out of London

There have been a huge number of articles written in the last fortnight about the future of Britain, with many focused on the potential effects on London’s economy of the country leaving the EU.

What must not be lost in these debates, though, is the focus on the structural problems that the city faced before the referendum. One of the most fundamental in recent years has been the fact that London’s housing crisis has forced many professionals out of the city.

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Economic uncertainty means renters need security

We haven't commented on the EU referendum as a debate about the future of the country was all a bit above us. Renters are a mixed bunch and have different reasons for voting Remain or Leave.

Now that the deed is done, we're due a new Prime Minister, probably a General Election in the next year, and several years of negotiations over our relationship with Europe. 

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Sadiq says his plans are "ambitious but realistic"

This week will mark 50 days since Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London in an election that was defined by the capital’s housing crisis. Yet since that point private renters (and indeed all Londoners hit by its failed housing system) have had to wait patiently to hear the detail within the Mayor’s commitments.

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Lords debate letting fees ban

When we published our latest research on letting fees in April, we were expecting a long fight to get the issue of banning them back on the political agenda. The Housing and Planning Act, passed in May, contained no changes to the law on fees, and the only area of housing government is currently legislating on concerns planning. 

We didn't have to wait for long though. Olly Grender, a Lib Dem peer, who fought for and won some protections for renters in the Housing Act, was selected to present a private member's Bill. Happily for us, she picked fees.

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#ventyourrent: a round-up

On 26th April, we launched a social media campaign called #ventyourrent on Twitter and Tumblr. We asked people to tell us on cardboard, a photo, or just a tweet, what they were paying in rent and what it bought them.

The plan was to get Londoners sharing their worst experiences of renting and generating some solidarity ahead of the Mayoral Election on 5th May. We hoped that seeing the posts would get people thinking about the housing market as a political issue that they could have some influence on. If they did, we had a handy guide for them.

It was the first campaign of its kind that we have attempted and we could not have done it without the energy of a crack team of volunteers*, the guidance of Paolo Gerbaudo of Kings College London, and the inspiration of Pierre-Emmanuel Lemaire, Yasmina Aoun, Cong Bi and Nicola Lotter of Central St Martin's MA Communication Design course.

It was a huge success, generating our biggest media story to date, attracting hundreds of submissions, and surely contributing at least a tiny bit to the highest ever turnout for a London Mayoral Election. 

Now that the dust has settled, we decided to find out what #ventyourrent taught us.

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