Insecure tenancies drag down quality of life

With home ownership unaffordable and council housing unavailable, private renters are living longer in a tenure that wasn't designed to provide long term homes. The constant threat of your landlord deciding to sell up or move back in means that you have none of the stability that a home is supposed to provide.

New polling from Survation, commissioned by us, exposes the impact this has on tenants' lives. It shows that private renters are more anxious about the security of their home and this is holding them back from investing time in their home and their local community. 

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Landlord tax evasion - what do we know?

A few weeks ago, the London Borough of Newham revealed that 13,000 local landlords had failed to declare their rental income, prompting estimates that £200m of tax was being evaded in London alone.

Today, Parliament has published an answer from the Treasury Minister Mel Stride to Frank Field, who asked what assessment the government had made of this. The Minister directed him (and us) to this information on tax gaps (pp54-5).

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MPs debate letting fee ban

The ban on letting fees is currently the government's flagship policy to help renters, and we're currently waiting for a draft bill to be published, which follows a consultation that we and hundreds of our supporters responded to.

In the meantime, MPs gave us a taste of how the legislation will proceed in Parliament yesterday morning by debating the subject for the first time since last year's Autumn Statement.

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London Housing - a new opportunity to push for greater security

Delayed from August, this week saw the publication of the London Mayor's draft housing strategy, which is now open for consultation for three months.

Covering all housing policy from leasehold reform to tackling street homelessness, the strategy also has a specific section devoted to the private rented sector. With a quarter of London's children in the private rented sector, and millions of renters living in poverty, we all know how urgently action is needed.

We'll be coming back to parts of the strategy in the coming weeks, but here we just focus on the main headlines for renters.

The strategy builds on the Mayor's manifest commitment and previous public statements, and although the Mayor lacks the powers to fundamentally transform London's PRS, there are nonetheless some steps forward and potential to go further.

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The Other Waitrose Effect - the hidden costs of gentrification

Is a new Waitrose in your neighbourhood a cause for excitement, or a troubling omen for your future in the area? 

A new study reveals that the high-end supermarket is linked with rising evictions of private tenants in areas they open up in.

The analysis, conducted by Oxford University academic David Adler for Generation Rent, found that the arrival of a new store was associated with an increase in the number of evictions of between 25% and 50%.

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Great cheese selection, but will you be around to enjoy it?

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Giving people the right to a safe home

This week saw the introduction of Karen Buck MP's Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill, a private member's bill which will now have its second reading in parliament on Friday 19 January 2018.

The bill seeks to update the law requiring rented homes to be presented and maintained in a state fit for human habitation - updated because the current law only requires this of homes with a rent of up to £80 per year in London, and £52 elsewhere!

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National study finds tenants optimistic but rental market oppressive

Every year the government runs the English Housing Survey. General findings are published in February, then, to the delight of housing geeks, the juicy detail on the different subsections of the market arrives in July. We've taken a look at the findings for 2015-16, published last week.

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Queen's Speech 2017: are you listening Westminster?

Before today's Queen's Speech, which set out the government's parliamentary programme for the next two years, there were two theories about how housing and private renting might feature, and what kind of prominence it would be given.

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If London housebuilding is reliant on overseas investment, where do we go from here?

Commissioned in Autumn 2016, the final report of the London Mayor’s investigation into the role of overseas investment in housing was published last week – but its findings can be read in very different ways.

Based on research by the LSE, its major conclusion and argument is that off-plan and pre-sales to the overseas market are integral to the current development model in London – and therefore also key to leveraging more affordable housing through section 106 agreements on those sites. 

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Renters vote - and cause another political upset

The results are in, and the UK's voters have delivered yet another shock.

The dust still has to settle but one thing is already apparent: the votes of renters had an impact yesterday. Twenty of the 32 seats that the Conservatives lost to Labour and the Liberal Democrats had more renters than average. Back at the 2011 census, those 32 seats had an average private renter population of 19% - it was 16% in the country as a whole.

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The choice tomorrow

We haven't been posting much on here for the past few weeks as we have joined forces with ACORN on #RentersVote for the duration of the election. 

There we have analysed each of the 5 UK-wide parties' manifestos and pulled it all together into one big graphic, so you can see what we made of their housing commitments side-by-side.

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