Our demands for the next government

On Thursday 4th July 2024, the UK will go to the polls for a general election. Candidates across 650 constituencies will be returned as MPs, who will then sit in the House of Commons, decide the next government and make laws. Therefore, it is vital that these candidates make an offer to private renters – 6.8 million of us in England are eligible to vote in this election and are aware of how difficult renting is. Generation Rent has set out five areas where renting must be improved by the next government. We encourage candidates to take forward these ideas to improve the lives of the private renters they will represent.

Where housing policy is made

In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, most of the powers that affect renters are ‘devolved’ – this means that the parliament or assembly in each nation decides what happens, rather than the UK Parliament at Westminster. Exceptions include benefits and some taxes. For that reason, in this General Election we are focusing on what could change for renters in England.

Are you registered to vote?

Over one million renters are eligible to vote but are not registered. Generation Rent is campaigning to get renters’ voices heard by those in power by encouraging them to register to vote. If you are one of the missing million, register to vote here.

A manifesto for renters

Generation Rent, along with our colleagues at ACORN. The London Tenants Union, Greater Manchester Tenants Union and the New Economics Foundation, have created the Renter Manifesto, setting out the steps needed to make sure that everybody has a secure, affordable and decent home. Read the full manifesto here. Generation Rent’s priorities below are part of that manifesto.

No unfair evictions

Give renters the confidence to put down roots and complain if there are problems in our homes

Almost a million of us have been evicted through section 21 since the last government first promised its abolition in 2019.

The next government must:

      • End arbitrary Section 21 evictions without delay.

      • Give tenants longer in our homes without fear of eviction for reasons beyond our control

      • Give tenants who face these evictions more notice and help with the costs of moving.

    No unaffordable rent increases

    Help renters plan our finances and shield us from soaring rents

    Rents on new tenancies have risen 33% since March 2021 – wages rose by just 19%. Too many landlords are pushing tenants out in order to maximise their rental income.

    The next government must:

        • Limit rent increases to the lower of wage growth and consumer price inflation (CPI)

      Access to more affordable homes

      Make private rents more affordable while giving us the option to access social housing if we need it or home ownership if we want it.

      Private renters pay much more as a share of our incomes than we would if we were in social housing or home ownership. But there aren’t enough social homes – 146,000 children are living in temporary accommodation – and it takes the average first time buyer 7 years to save a deposit.

      The next government must:

          • Build more homes, particularly social housing to help those worst-hit by the housing crisis.

          • Make sure housing benefits to keep up with market rents and scrap benefit cap.

          • Encourage landlords exiting to sell to their tenants or the council.

        An easier way to fix problems

        Make it easier for tenants to exercise our rights and hold bad landlords to account.

        Landlords ask tenants for lots of info before renting to us, but they themselves aren’t subject to an ombudsman, and just 7% are required to have a licence. Too many landlords get away with illegal behaviour.

        The next government must:

            • Set up a national register of landlords with useful information about each home.

            • Set up a new Ombudsman and better legal aid provision.

            • Expand Awaab’s Law to set timescales for private landlords to fix problems.

            • Make the tenancy deposit system fairer so landlords can’t abuse it.

          Better quality homes

          Raise standards to make private rented homes warmer and more comfortable.

          Despite higher rents than social housing, private rented homes are poorer quality, with 21% classed as non-decent and 55% poorly insulated.

          The next government must:

              • Require private rented homes to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

              • Raise energy efficiency standards.

              • Strengthen the energy efficiency grants programme to reduce bills for private renters at risk of fuel poverty.

            Email your candidates to make sure your demands are heard

            Here is your chance to tell your candidates what you are prioritising in this election. Click the button below to send them a pre-written email so that our demands are heard. 


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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.