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 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).
  • commented 2015-01-04 19:22:44 +0000
    conditions of tenancies are often in great need of repair. renting can be tenuous if complaints made for improvements
  • commented 2014-12-17 12:48:29 +0000
    Misrepresentation of lettings. Agents that find tenants for landlords they are not contracted to manage the rental for, not disclosing this beforehand, then shirking responsibility when the landlord when repair issues crop up or issues with the rental. You sign with a ‘reputable’ letting agency only to find they are a front for a less than desirable landlord!
  • followed this page 2014-12-15 11:22:34 +0000

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Blog

Huge victory for renters as Chancellor bans fees

There was some extra cash for "affordable" housing in Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement, but there was only really one big story from today:

The Government is going to ban letting fees!

This is a phenomenal achievement and the result of a tireless campaign over recent years by us, Shelter, Citizens Advice, the Debrief and local renter groups around the country.

Dozens of us investigated our local letting agents to build up the case for reform on www.lettingfees.co.uk. Thousands of us signed petitions and wrote to our MPs and the government listened. 

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The Redfern Review: A grown-up take on the housing crisis

Earlier this year, Labour commissioned the chief executive of the country's biggest house builder to lead a study of the decline in home ownership - the main reason politicians are worried about housing these days.

The Redfern Review has been published today. It shouldn't be a great surprise that its conclusions don't fit completely with our views - there's very little comment on the needs of private renters - but it does make an important contribution to the debate, and there's a lot we can agree on. Indeed, it takes a more objective approach than parties and industry players have done when they've tackled the same subject - there's refreshingly little dogma or evidence of Taylor Wimpey's commercial interests at play (though it plays down builders' profit-driven reluctance to build enough homes).

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Another result of London’s failed housing system – increased child poverty

Figures produced by the End Child Poverty Coalition this week show distressing levels of child poverty after housing costs are included, including within much of London.

The data breaks down levels of child poverty by parliamentary constituency, local authority, and local ward level, and shows that of the twenty constituencies with the highest levels of child poverty, seven are in London, while 11 out of 20 of the highest figures at local authority level are also in the capital.

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Here's another reason to boo rising house prices

I bet you thought rising house prices just made it more difficult for you to ever own your own home.

Well, it's even worse than that. 

Rising house prices increase your risk of being evicted. 

Already angry? Jump straight to our campaign page.

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The UK's first online landlord checking service

Paul Munday is the founder of RentProfile. For more useful websites for renters, visit our resources page.

A few years ago my brother David was the victim of a rental scam. It was this experience that led us to research the scale of the problem and start to think about ways to raise awareness and maybe even prevent this kind of fraud from happening in the first place.

We realised there is a compromise when seeking a rental today: either go through a letting agent which may charge excessive fees, or use a listings site where there's a chance of being scammed. It wasn't difficult to find fake listings on websites. Renters told us they were daunted by paying out thousands to a landlord (who is a stranger) but did so as they had little choice.

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Top 10 tips to cut your electricity bill

Thomas Karcher runs Kagoo.co.uk

With sky-high rents squeezing tenant’s budgets, bills are yet another unwelcome expense. However, it is possible to significantly reduce your electricity bill by following our Top 10 electricity saving tips.

1. Check your electricity tariff

As a tenant you are free to switch electricity suppliers without requiring permission from the landlord. Compare tariffs, duel fuel discounts and payment options to ensure you get the best deal.

Please note some agents try and tie tenants into energy deals with a preferred provider. Generation Rent would like to hear if you have been affected by this.

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The London Living Rent: Winners, Losers and the Rest of Us (Part 2 - tenancies)

In September, following the Mayor’s release of some details for this London Living Rent proposal, we blogged about concerns around how genuinely affordable this new tenure would be, and what was needed to ensure it was part of the solution to London’s housing crisis.

This follow-up piece looks at what wasn’t covered in the first blog – broadly, tenancy types – and how again they might best serve Londoners just looking for somewhere affordable and secure to live.

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Property industry tries to block government's best housing policy

With a new Prime Minister and a new Chancellor heavily modifying their predecessors’ policies on the deficit, “affordable” housing and schools, the property industry is hopeful that the government will pursue similar revisionism on its landlord tax policy.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors this week called on the government to scrap the stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let and second homes, while landlords have been in the High Court to challenge the withdrawal of mortgage interest tax relief for landlords paying higher rate income tax.

We’ve just learned that there will not be a judicial review of the government’s policy.

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Landlords and mortgages: what do we know?

Whenever you propose reform of private renting, the landlord lobby always says no, because "landlords couldn't afford it". Whether it's asking landlords to cover the cost of letting agent fees, to apply for a licence, to charge controlled rents, or to pay tax on their loans, we're asked to believe that they can't afford it. Then they threaten to raise rents - as if rents haven't already been outpacing inflation since the end of the recession.

This claim assumes that landlords are already paying large amounts of their revenue out again in costs. Some of them are, but we point out that the majority are not, because they don't have a mortgage.

For example, an interest-only mortgage of £150,000 at 4% costs £6000 a year. Rent on the £200,000 property bought with that mortgage might get you £10,000. Two thirds of private rented properties have no mortgage, and thus have significantly lower costs and capacity to absorb new regulatory requirements.

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Don't be fooled: Help to Buy is still dangerous

Yesterday, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, confirmed that the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme would wind up at the end of the year. This was arguably the more controversial of the two Help to Buy schemes announced in the 2013 Budget, but it was originally meant to last only 3 years. And with it gone, we're still left with a Help to Buy loan scheme that is highly counterproductive to any efforts to fix the housing crisis.

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