The Conservative candidate for London Mayor, Zac Goldsmith, has published his housing manifesto, and we've updated the Vote Homes policy grid with his offer for London's renters.
As the candidate of the governing party in Westminster, it was always going to be interesting to see if he would go any further than current government policy. One of the biggest divides between the Conservatives and the other parties is on security of tenure, and it's safe to say that Zac has stuck his neck out on this, though we're yet to be convinced that renters will benefit from his proposal.
More than a hundred people came to the Renters’ Hustings on Tuesday to hear candidates from five parties tell us what they’ll do for private renters if they’re elected as London Mayor or Assembly Member – a lively discussion chaired brilliantly by Buzzfeed’s Jim Waterson. All five candidates (Sian Berry: Green, Tom Copley: Labour, Joy Morrissey: Conservative, Zack Polanski: Lib Dem and David Kurten: UKIP) said they are private renters themselves, so perhaps they know how, er, ‘special’ it is trying to survive as a private renter in this city.
The London housing crisis is taking its toll on families in the capital as they move to other parts of the UK in ever greater numbers. The net number of thirtysomethings and under-10s leaving the city has increased by 25% between 2012 and 2014 according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
We have always seen more people in these age brackets move away from London than move there, but the difference is getting bigger. In the same two-year period, rents and house prices rose three times as fast in London as the rest of Britain.
We have just updated the Vote Homes policy grid with Sadiq Khan's offering in his manifesto, which was published on 9 March. Also updated are a number of recently announced policies from Caroline Pidgeon.
The Labour Party’s Independent Review of Retirement Income (IRRI) has suggested that workers should be aiming to save 15% of their salary into the pension each month, according to a BBC report.
The other week, in an FT piece that went viral, Rebecca Taylor, director at the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments, said that 25-year-olds should be aiming to pay an average of £800 a month into their pension for the next forty years. Now this is an average: less now can be balanced out by paying more later. But the message is clear: start now.
The government wants to eliminate Generation Rent. I think they're talking about the demographic group, rather than our organisation. They want to replace us with Generation Buy. How cute.
Sadly, their plans so far will do nothing to reverse the growth of renting and will exacerbate the rising level of inequality between people who own their homes and those who don't.
The government's flagship policy is Starter Homes. The scheme will help 200,000 private renter households into home ownership with a 20% discount on the market price of a new home. The trouble is, if you're not in one of the lucky 200,000 - that's 4 million - you won't get a discount. You also won't get to share £26.8bn of profits when you sell your starter home - read our analysis here.
In an effort to increase transparency and help Irish voters make an informed decision in tomorrow's general election, we have contacted all election candidates and asked them to say where they stand on a range of issues, including rent control. All candidates’ answers (or the answers provided by their party in some cases) are publicly available on the website www.whichcandidate.ie. Voters can also answer the questions and see which candidates they agree with in their constituency.
We asked candidates whether there should be tighter controls on rent, and candidates are almost evenly split on this question. 43% (188 candidates) said that rent increases should be capped in line with inflation; while 44% (193 candidates) said that current controls on rent were adequate. (The remaining 13% of candidates were either opposed to any controls on rent, or selected none of these options.)
If you happen to be planning a move to (or within) the London boroughs of Croydon, Ealing, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest, then we might be able to save you a few hundred quid.
Volunteers in these areas have compiled a comprehensive list of local letting agents and their tenant fees at www.lettingfees.co.uk.
Tower Hamlets Renters have used their research to name and shame local agents
A flurry of news reports in the past week have told many of us what we're already thinking: more private renters are facing a lifetime of renting.
First, the Resolution Foundation said that, in ten years' time, 90% of under-35s on modest incomes will be renting for life.
Then, PwC said 40% of Londoners will be renting from a private landlord by 2025.
And today, the government-commissioned English Housing Survey found that 57% of private renters expect to buy their home - down from 61% in the previous year's report.
The Renting Homes Act for Wales passed through the Assembly at the end of 2015, but the end result was quite different from the initial Bill.
The Welsh Assembly has 60 Assembly Members (AMs) but the Welsh Labour Government only holds 30 of those seats. That means that every Bill has to have approval from one of the opposition parties – Plaid or the Lib Dems– or it won’t go through.