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 2015-04-16 02:50:53 +0100
    Sue Cole’s housing problem is not at all unusual. Contrary to popular demonisation, not everyone over 50 is either a rich home owner or a smugly secure council tenant. In middle age and older, people frequently need to find somewhere to live, often in a different area. Her sense of betrayal is well justified and understandable after playing by the rules, paying in to the public kitty during a lifetime of asking for nothing.

    Sue is typical because she returns to her home town and is treated worse than a new immigrant, who does not need to pass the five year test she faces. She must prove she has lived without straying outside the boundary lines of that single council, even to put her name on the waiting list. (Normally, in any case, waiting lists are long enough that she would need to be, perhaps, 150 years old before her name reaches the top, if ever)

    She is also treated worse than a feckless breeder, who is also exempt , and is treated worse than any woman who can play the system and leap the housing list by fiddling the domestic violence short cut. She will never get even the notoriously dire but at least assured safety net of hostel places, because they are provided for women with children. It is harsh to find all resources and help are for those who have not paid in, with nothing for those who have, for half a century or more, only to be denied, derided and labelled “burden”.

    Sue and thousands like her find their existence denied or ignored by the constant use of the word “young” in every housing context. Is it not a truth universally assumed, that anyone over 40 ought to go sleep in a field? (Or else just die, and hurry up about it, to get out of the way of the Entitled Young!)

    Sue finds she cannot pay rent without continuing to work till she drops, but paradoxically she is luckier than most who have reached retirement age. If she had taken retirement, no agent would allow her to apply for any tenancy. The first and main demand from potential landlords for virtually all properties is that the applicant Must Be Currently Employed. (“No DSS”, as they express it) Like the 90 year old’s living in the Bournemouth bus shelter, and the other old couple who jumped to their deaths, retired people everywhere are turned away by private landlords and by local councils. The help to buy is exclusively for young employed, so is the “free” deposit scheme, and nobody over 50 is eligible for a mortgage. So, they cannot rent, cannot access social housing, and cannot buy. Hence the bus shelter and hence the suicide.

    This site is typical in hosting hostility in ageist comments on the boards. (“Selfish” older people are selfishly occupying larger homes than they need, or else are “selfishly” not doing so, but instead are selfishly downsizing which selfishly deprives some Entitled Young people of the starter homes which are theirs By Right. Some are “selfishly” funding their retirement years with money which rightfully belongs to their Entitled Offspring. Some are selfishly refusing to lock themselves away out of sight in some kind of cut price prison cell segregated over-50’s ghetto accommodation, which is good enough for the likes of them, as they dawdle over their task of getting dead. This is the tenor and gist of the age-hate and contempt on this site, which is not challenged, or banned as it would be if racist or homophobic.

    Such age-hate prejudice causes middle aged and older people to have greater housing difficulty than younger people. Over 50’s or even over 40’s are openly barred in flat share adverts , and they cannot ask or expect the same willingness from others, to permit sofa surfing, which younger people take for granted.

    Even the housing organisations obsessively repeat the word “young”, in every discussion of housing. This allows politicians and lazy journalists to do the same, so in turn the general public make the assumptions that housing need is exclusively for The Young, and that “The Elderly” have more housing than they deserve, which means they are to blame for everything.
  • commented 2015-04-15 20:40:09 +0100
    I am 60 moved back to se after my divorce and was told I need to be living in borough for 5 years before I can even put my name down for housing. I have since age of 18 paid my taxes and was born here. I feel betrayed that I have reached 60 and can’t even think about retiring, to survive I will need to work as long as I can. I have never taken any benefits , even felt guilty applying for my Boris travel card . What has one to do to be given help……
  • commented 2015-04-15 11:02:40 +0100
    I’ve had the chance to think more about my reply to Stephen yesterday. Firstly, I’ve checked and I stand by my original view that prices of buy to let properties have risen by 1400% since 1997. Some landlords are now selling to take profit, and the buyers are frequently more landlords eager to make the same profits. Taxing capital profit at 95%+ will stop this. Secondly, regarding pensioners selling, downsizing and funding comfortable retirements – it’s a much muddier issue, but anyone getting onto the housing ladder when young will eventually end up with a much appreciated asset which they own outright. The important thing is that they’ll then have somewhere to live without further outgoings at a time when they presumably have reduced income. But they eventually have to do something with it. If subject to punitive tax on the profit, they’ll just sit on it despite it perhaps being too big or expensive for them to maintain, and cause a blockage in the natural cycle of others upsizing. So I’m against charging this level of tax on profit on owner occupiers’ primary residences. If they do sell and downsize, they free up property for younger larger families to move into. If they then spend the profit rather than leaving it to their families, they have at least earned the money they paid, not leeched it from the pockets of the younger generation denying them the opportunity to advance their own lives. So sorry, Stephen, my original point stands. Tax profiteering landlords out of the market.
  • commented 2015-04-15 11:02:36 +0100
    I’ve had the chance to think more about my reply to Stephen yesterday. Firstly, I’ve checked and I stand by my original view that prices of buy to let properties have risen by 1400% since 1997. Some landlords are now selling to take profit, and the buyers are frequently more landlords eager to make the same profits. Taxing capital profit at 95%+ will stop this. Secondly, regarding pensioners selling, downsizing and funding comfortable retirements – it’s a much muddier issue, but anyone getting onto the housing ladder when young will eventually end up with a much appreciated asset which they own outright. The important thing is that they’ll then have somewhere to live without further outgoings at a time when they presumably have reduced income. But they eventually have to do something with it. If subject to punitive tax on the profit, they’ll just sit on it despite it perhaps being too big or expensive for them to maintain, and cause a blockage in the natural cycle of others upsizing. So I’m against charging this level of tax on profit on owner occupiers’ primary residences. If they do sell and downsize, they free up property for younger larger families to move into. If they then spend the profit rather than leaving it to their families, they have at least earned the money they paid, not leeched it from the pockets of the younger generation denying them the opportunity to advance their own lives. So sorry, Stephen, my original point stands. Tax profiteering landlords out of the market.
  • commented 2015-04-14 15:44:22 +0100
    I heard 1997, Stephen, but am happy to be corrected. There are always going to be some selfish people who mess things up for the majority, whether they’re avaricious landlords or selfish pensioners blowing the kids’ inheritance. Personally, I intend to leave as substantial an amount for mine as is practicable, but there is a point there that needs addressing. Maybe large tax bills if old folks don’t move to a retirement home or something of that nature. There’s limited space here to discuss all details, but the biggest problem is the two groups I’ve defined. If we don’t stop them now, all future generations will be forever living in rented accomodation to fund lazy good for nothings who sit around all day. living the high life without ever having worked hard. At least pensioners will have worked for the money they pay off their mortgages with, not grabbed it from the younger generations pockets.
  • commented 2015-04-14 13:56:05 +0100
    Foxwatcher, Housing profits up by 1400% since 1971! I take it you are advocating the taxing of ALL profits on the sale of homes whether as Buy to Lets or not, Many people have lived in their family homes, paid off their mortgages and when the children have grown up and left home have sold and downsized taking smaller, more affordable homes from our younger generation whilst driving up the price of these and at the same time using the huge profits from the sale of their family homes to fund their extravagant retirement lifestyle.

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Home ownership at 30-year low

Just 62.9% of England's population owns their home - the lowest proportion since 1985. And the private rented population now stands at 4.5m households, up on last year and bigger than in 1961, when slum landlords like Peter Rachman were making tenants' lives a misery.

These are the big findings of the English Housing Survey Headline Report, the first of two releases of the government-commissioned survey for 2015-16. 

At this rate, there will be more private renters than mortgage holders in just five years' time. It's already the largest tenure in London.

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Brighton and Bournemouth letting fees - all in one place

Even though the government has promised to ban letting fees, our crowdsourced research project at lettingfees.co.uk continues to build up a picture of renter exploitation around the country. Renters in Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove now have an online comparison of letting fees in their area, which will help them avoid the rogues who are either charging excessive fees or just not publishing theirs.

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Lessons from Germany: tenant power in the rental market

Last month the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) released its report “Lessons from Germany: Tenant power in the rental market”. It examines the relative strength of protection for German renters, and how these benefits might be brought across to England.

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Making housing about immigration continues to be a toxic mix

Back in late 2015, when the details about making landlords check the immigration status of prospective tenants was being debated in parliament, housing and migrant groups repeatedly warned government that this would lead to discrimination, and push vulnerable renters into precarious and hidden housing.

Today a new report from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) on the 'Right to Rent' scheme confirms that warning, with shocking findings of non-British and non-white renters finding it more difficult to access a new tenancy.

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Government consults on banning orders - renters respond

We have put in our response to the government’s consultation on banning orders – the new mechanism to prevent criminals from operating in the rental market. That’s right, they aren’t banned already.

The government has asked what types of offences should be banworthy, and set a deadline of midnight tonight.

We asked our supporters for their experiences earlier in the week, dozens of you responded, and the feedback has helped shape our response to the government.

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Housing White Paper: where do we stand now?

Well, the Housing White Paper was a massive disappointment. After an exciting glimpse on Sunday of moves to "incentivise" longer tenancies, on Tuesday it became clear that those incentives were existing government subsidies for companies building new homes. Number of beneficiaries: 80,322 (not counting the companies who would have offered longer tenancies anyway).

For the 4.3 million households in existing properties? The vague undertaking to "consider what more we can do to support families already renting privately, while encouraging continued investment in the sector." Which gives little hope to people who don't live with their family and a lot of hope to property speculators.

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Housing White Paper: Our immediate reaction

Commenting on the Housing White Paper, Dan Wilson Craw, Director of Generation Rent, said:

“Sajid Javid has the right analysis about the plight of renters, but his White Paper has failed to offer us anything of substance.

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Removing criminals from the housing market

Although the 2016 Housing and Planning Act paved the way for the mass sell-off of council houses, eroded security for social tenants and watered down the affordability of new homes, it also made it possible to ban criminals from letting out properties, with new Banning Orders. 

As we await the Housing White Paper to see how far the government will go to improve private renting further - and how much it will atone for the damage it caused to social housing - we are drafting our feedback on how Banning Orders will work. 

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Are landlord incentives the answer to tenant insecurity?

Today's Observer declares that the "home-owning democracy", that elusive vision beloved of the Conservatives since Thatcher, is finished. 

Obs_0502.jpg 

Ahead of next week's Housing White Paper, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid says, "We understand people are living longer in private rented accommodation", which is the closest the government has come to admitting that their policies to help first-time buyers can only go so far. 

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Housing White Paper: could Starter Homes be genuinely affordable?

As the publication date for the government's Housing White Paper approaches, we and groups across the the housing world are hoping for an announcement that will signal a 'whole new mindset', as the Secretary of State has promised.

One item that will be included is confirmation of how the government's long-running Starter Homes policy will work - and the detail will tell us how far it will go towards slowing the affordability crisis for first-time buyers. This is the government's flagship policy that was pitched as "turning Generation Rent into Generation Buy".

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