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 2015-05-11 17:15:01 +0100
    What now the Conservatives are back,when will Section 21 a primative law be abolished?
  • commented 2015-05-07 19:10:23 +0100
    I was sorry to read the stories of Paul and Anne. But the answer is simple. Ban private landlords by taxing them so it becomes financially impossible for them to exist, sell all their housing to the existing occupiers, or to local authorities or establishments such as universities where appropriate, and put legislation in place to ensure that they rent in a fair and proper manner. Private landlords are the root of 99% of these issues, whether it’s because they are poor landlords with no sense of responsibility, or whether they are just plain greedy.
  • commented 2015-05-07 12:42:26 +0100
    My daughter and her partner have just learned, without any warning, that their landlord intends to sell the house. This will be the third time in six years they have been forced to move.

    Here is a reply from Alan Duncan MP to my Generation Rent’s “Please stand up for renters by supporting rent control” email:
    ……….

    “Rent controls never work – they destroy investment in housing leading to fewer homes to rent and poorer quality accommodation. Last time they were used in the UK they led to a collapse in the size of the private rented sector.

    The only way to have affordable rents is to build more homes. That is why we are investing £400 million in building 10,000 new homes that will be let out below market rent to help people save up for a deposit and buy their own home. We are also able to offer guarantees to housing providers and investors, enabling them to borrow at cheaper rates and build tens of thousands of new homes, including 30,000 new affordable homes through the Affordable Housing Guarantee scheme. Thanks to our long-term economic plan house building is now at its highest level since 2007.

    We want to see a private rented sector that is more transparent, gives greater certainty to hardworking families, especially those with children of school age, and which delivers higher standards and more affordable rents.

    · Rent controls in the UK reduced private rented housing stock. Rent controls resulted in the size of the private rented sector shrinking from 55 per cent of households in 1939 to just 8 per cent in the late 1980s. Rent controls also meant that many landlords could not afford to improve or maintain their homes.

    · The Institute of Economic Affairs has said rent controls will lead to higher rents. They have said that ‘sincerents can alter between tenancies, tenancy rent controls cannot improve affordability for any group other than in the very short term. It is most likely to simply change the timing of rent costs over a tenancy by raising initial rents. Indeed the existence of these [rent] controls may even increase market rents overall’.

    · The OECD says that rent controls push down housing supply. The OECD have made clear that rent controlsreduce the supply of rented housing, saying that ‘easing the relatively strict rent controls and tenant-landlord regulations that are found in some Nordic and continental European countries could significantly increase residential mobility by improving the supply of rental housing and preventing the locking-in of tenants’.

    · Since 2010 average rents in England have fallen in real terms. According to the latest ONS figures, in the period May 2010 to December 2014 average rents in England fell by 1.3 per cent in real terms (Hansard, 2 February 2015, Col. 222996, link).

    · Building more homes to rent. Through the Build to Rent Fund we are providing finance, along with private sector investment, to build new purpose-built privately rented homes. 14 contracts have already been signed which are worth £230 million and will deliver over 3,000 homes to rent. When all agreements are finalised during 2015 £1 billion of investment will be provided which will deliver 10,000 new homes to rent. We have also used the government’s hard-won fiscal credibility to offer guarantees to housing providers and investors, enabling them to borrow at cheaper rates and build tens of thousands of new homes, including 30,000 new affordable homes through the Affordable Housing Guarantee scheme.

    · Labour’s plans for more regulation and rent controls would make life harder for tenants. Labour’s plans forrent controls, banning letting agents’ fees for tenants, and blanket local and national landlord licensing schemes would lead to higher rents as landlords pass on extra costs to tenants. It would also undermine investment in housing making it harder for people to find a good quality, safe and affordable home to rent. Ultimately a reduced supply of rental homes will mean higher rents and less choice for tenants."

    Regards

    Alan Duncan
  • commented 2015-05-07 08:46:57 +0100 · Flag
    My grandchildren live in Southgate, London. They are again set to move at the end of this month; fourth time in 6 years. I am kind of happy they are moving from The house they are currently because there was a fire start from the electrical terminal and luckily my grandson, 8 years, noticed the smoke coming from the under stair cupboard! That was a year ago and I have been worried ever since because the electrics are dodgy. The current landlord has warned that come the 1st June the builders will be in and the roof off – intimidation or what. Shame on him and he has children himself. My daughter tells me the rents have increased by about 20% in the last 18 months. So, finding somewhere in the local vicinity will prove to be difficult. She has to date not found another place.
    The other thing is, their father also lives in rented housing and he has also had to move within the last year. So, really, the children have moved at least 7 times within the last 6 years.
    I try to remain positive and class each new move as an adventure and pose it as thus to the children. Inside, I feel distraught for my grandchildren and their parents. Both their parents are hard working and loving and I feel sure this love helps to sustain them.
  • 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……

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Blog

Minimum acceptable living standards in London - and how housing costs cut right through them

This week Trust for London, in conjunction with Loughborough University, published their latest report on a Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for London - with figures updated from their first report in 2015, and with a focus in this research on families.

The MIS compares costs between London and the rest of the UK to show the difference between the minimum needed for an acceptable standard of living - with that minimum based on a list of goods discussed and agreed upon by the public.

We can draw many conclusions from the report, and though it should surprise no one that the cost of housing is a major differential between London and the rest of the UK, the research shows that the rising cost of private rents in the lower end of the market stops a large number of households achieving the MIS.

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Rate your landlord and more on Marks Out Of Tenancy

Ben Yarrow is Founder of Marks Out Of TenancyFor more useful websites for renters, visit our resources page.

Ask anyone who’s renting, everyone’s got a story to share. Whether it’s good, bad or just plain ugly; every renter has had their own experience with a landlord or a letting agent that can give us insight into what can be expected as a potential tenant of theirs.    

Now, while it can be fun to wax lyrical about rental horror stories, we wanted to figure out how this exchange of experiences could be harnessed to the benefit of generation rent - so we created Marks out of Tenancy.

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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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