Spinning the roulette wheel

If you ever wonder why we as a nation are "obsessed" with home ownership when people happily rent for life in Germany and the Netherlands, consider the number of ways you can lose your home as a renter.

Even if you pay the rent on time, take care of the property, and learn your neighbours' names, you can be forced to move if the landlord decides to sell up, raise the rent to a level you can't afford, or just doesn't renew the tenancy.

A new poll from BMG finds that 27% of current and former private renters have experienced an unwanted move.


Most landlords want a reliable tenant who will stay put for many years, so they aren’t going to risk losing them by bumping up the rent, and they want their property to be a long term investment, not just something to sell when the price is right.

But there are enough unscrupulous or unreliable landlords out there who will force out a blameless tenant that there is a one in four chance that it will happen to you. That figure is probably higher given how long many of us can expect to be renting for.

Although 39% of private renters don’t realise landlords can evict tenants on no-fault grounds, for the rest of us that means that renting means never really knowing where your home will be in a year’s time.

No one likes moving home, especially when it involves raiding your savings for letting fees, carpet cleaning, and the deposit and rent up front, while worrying about getting your current deposit back. That’s why we’re calling on the government to protect renters from no-fault evictions by requiring the landlord to compensate the tenant for the up front cost of moving – approximately three months’ rent. With this deterrent, along with a limit on rent rises, tenants will have greater security in their home.

The poll suggests that 66% of the population supports compensation for no-fault evictions, and 75% supports limits on rent rises.

Please add your name to our campaign – sign our petition on 38 Degrees. If you’re in London, please ask Zac Goldsmith to support this policy.

BMG’s research has been reported in the Independent.


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Individual Advice

Generation Rent can’t offer advice about individual problems. Here are a few organisations that can:

You might also find quick but informal help on ACORN’s Facebook forum, and there are more suggestions on The Renters Guide.