#ventyourrent: a round-up

On 26th April, we launched a social media campaign called #ventyourrent on Twitter and Tumblr. We asked people to tell us on cardboard, a photo, or just a tweet, what they were paying in rent and what it bought them.

The plan was to get Londoners sharing their worst experiences of renting and generating some solidarity ahead of the Mayoral Election on 5th May. We hoped that seeing the posts would get people thinking about the housing market as a political issue that they could have some influence on. If they did, we had a handy guide for them.

It was the first campaign of its kind that we have attempted and we could not have done it without the energy of a crack team of volunteers*, the guidance of Paolo Gerbaudo of Kings College London, and the inspiration of Pierre-Emmanuel Lemaire, Yasmina Aoun, Cong Bi and Nicola Lotter of Central St Martin's MA Communication Design course.

It was a huge success, generating our biggest media story to date, attracting hundreds of submissions, and surely contributing at least a tiny bit to the highest ever turnout for a London Mayoral Election.

Now that the dust has settled, we decided to find out what #ventyourrent taught us.

There were a few problems that it’s clear Londoners are no strangers to, including the most common complaint, damp and mould, with 24 posts (by our count):

There were 20 cases of dodgy plumbing and leaks:

And 15 infestations:

We were pretty surprised by how many people (14) reported flimsy ceilings and other structural failings:

Renters have to deal with bullies…



…and people who genuinely endanger their lives

And if you aren’t bothered about other people’s woes, some landlords are ripping off everyone:

Other problems included broken appliances going unfixed, no heating, no natural light, unprotected deposits, rip-off fees and unfair evictions.

For many of us, it’s the sheer cost of living in London that’s the biggest problem:

Even mayoral candidates vented:

And for some, it’s already got too much.

Obviously, bad renting experiences aren’t confined to London – we had people get in touch from all over the UK and we even got folk joining in from across the pond

The eventual election winner got in touch with his response to the campaign

Many of the cases demonstrate the need for reform of the rental market, but it’s important that tenants understand what course of action they can take as things stand.

Whether it’s reporting landlords to the relevant authorities or naming and shaming them, we thought it would be a good idea to create a new page with all of that on. We’re calling it Help & Info. It’s a work in progress, but we hope it’s useful.

If you haven’t vented you rent yet, the hashtag and Tumblr are still taking submissions.

A selection of the coverage:

The Daily Mail The Independent Mashable Evening Standard Stylist Dazed Shortlist Huffington Post BBC News CityMetric Buzzfeed The Londonist The Metro The Observer The Sun

*Our awesome volunteers: Chris Bryant, Chris Gilson, David King, Jay Morton, Laura Sam, Rachel Smethers, Suzanne Thomas, Reuben Young


Looking for some help and can't find the answer ?

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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.