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.pngProvide opportunities for private renters to campaign on issues that affect them and their local areas
  • hwh-4.pngWork with affiliates towards achieving the aims of Generation Rent
  • commented 2015-10-12 12:14:12 +0100
    James, sorry, one last point I forgot to add. You say that the situation is different in London. Irrespective of where I may be located, people who need to be in or near London should not be disadvantaged, as you do seem to accept. And BTL activity as I describe carried out elsewhere can do nothing but bring the “London” scenario to other areas, so eventually it will be country wide. and then where would FTBs be? Wider picture needs thinking about…..
  • commented 2015-10-12 11:08:55 +0100
    James M, just as you tell me I’ve made some fundamentally wrong assumptions concerning your personal lifestyle, I can assure you that your most recent post also has very much got the wrong end of several sticks about my situation. Let me just say that I absolutely agree with you about the financial choice FTBs have to make when deciding to purchase, and I agree indeed that far too many choose the iPhone/gym/flash car/too many visits to the nail salon etc. choices. But sensible ones don’t, they do save, have done for many years, and have a deposit which frankly exceeds the total purchase price of some properties in areas such as those examples you mention. They also have regular jobs earning above the reported national average wage for which they have studied for some years, never accumulated a student debt, paid their own way and done everything you would expect and more. Please believe me, I have done all the relevant research to back up my opinions as stated. It IS difficult to converse with strangers on emotive topics online, especially if, like me, you do not want to put any personal information out there. You have to trust your correspondents more than normal, which is why I took such exception to you effectively telling me I was lying with my example about the 17 BTLs v the 1 FTB. It’s quite true. I take your point about there “only” being 1 FTB interested, but that was on the first day of viewing, which happened to be a weekday when most FTBs would have been at work. So you could take the inference that only the BTLs were available on that day as they don’t have a “proper” 9 – 5 job, but are living off their property income. Additional FTBs did view the property in the evening and at the weekend, but it was sold to a BTL. I’ll also say that it’s impossible to generalise; there are always going to be BTLs with genuine motives who do try to help their tenants. You may be one, it’s impossible for me to tell. And there are regional variations in many factors. So, very tricky, as there will always be a counter argument. You have given some in this last post, but with respect, I still think you are hiding behind them, and not acknowledging my main, indeed only, point. If I want to buy your hypothetical fish and chips, I have a choice. I might choose a savaloy instead of fish, or just go for the bag of chips. Or indeed, only have bread and butter that night as I don’t have the cash available. But I HAVE to live somewhere, and if the only properties which I might be able to afford in the area I have to live in for work or family purposes are owned by BTLs, I’m forced to rent from them, or maybe stay at home with ageing parents well into my middle age, if they have a home of their own to offer me and the space to spare. This allows the BTLs to say they’re providing a vital function for me, whereas if I’d been able to outbid them, I’d have my own place. I assume you own your own house as well as those you rent out – isn’t it nice to know you do, or will one day, own it outright, then no-one can evict you, you can choose how to decorate and manage it without needing to consult the owner, you can leave a major asset to your kids…. I could go on and on about the advantages, but you must already know them. The vast majority of BTLs aren’t as “Good” as you make yourself to be (many examples all over the media), but you are ALL taking properties out of the market for fundamentally your own personal profit, albeit in the longer term, and denying that option to others at an earlier stage of their lives. If you choose to assuage your conscience by buying holiday homes for the disadvantaged, then that’s good, but it does highlight just how much profit you’re making to allow you to do so, and the cynical may choose to examine the tax break situation which this allows. I do accept some do choose to rent. If it’s their free choice, they will have presumably weighed the pros and cons before making it. If they are forced to rent, as in my example, it crushes the sprit out of them, and they wonder whether it’s all worth the effort. Constantly. This is why I think BTL for private individuals is wrong, immoral and should be banned. You gave an example earlier asking should profits from retail be banned. No, because I have a choice to shop there. If I owned your electricity, gas or water supply, there was no other option available to you, and I charged what I wanted, you’d be concerned, even if I charge a “fair” price. And if I could make a huge capital profit when I chose by selling it, would that be right? Of course not. So, thanks for your offer to meet up and justify things from your personal perspective, but it wouldn’t change things one jot. I’m not interested in how the figures may add up for you or any other individual BTL. I just feel the practice should not be allowed on moral grounds. I could go on, it’s an enormous topic, but I don’t think we’re going to convince each other.
  • commented 2015-10-12 09:12:47 +0100
    Hello again Foxwatcher. I’ve been trying to not get drawn into commenting on your posts but I’m so surprised by some of the things you’re saying I’m afraid I couldn’t resist any longer.

    It’s a shame you don’t acknowledge any of our points but continue to say that we’re some sort of evil wrongdoers when you’ve never actually met us and see what we do.

    So, our lettings businesses are just that. We run businesses and we take a profit from them, albeit small. I have responded before to your accusation that we drive expensive cars and I pointed out my van is old, indeed it has done over 132,000 miles. My wife’s car is not far behind that mileage so you see our little profit does not afford us the lifestyle you claim we have. Similarly, we have had no break at all this year but we hope to have 4 nights away in the UK in half-term, so no foreign holidays.

    Tell me, if I had a fish and chip shop, which of course provides an essential service of food, would you be OK if I made a profit on my sales? I’m guessing you would otherwise the business would collapse. And if I sold the business would you allow me a profit on it if I could make one? I’m guessing you would so why is it different for us, if indeed we manage to make a profit on a property sale.

    And for the umpteenth time I will offer to meet with you and show you the numbers but you have never even shown an interest and instead accused me of falsifying them without sight of them.

    Instead you continue to bang on about how we’re cheating FTB’s out of houses, yet in the one example you’ve offered of a house for sale you say only one FTB was after the house. Here’s a challenge for you, let’s meet I’ll show you the numbers, you supply me with the address and I’ll do some digging into who actually bought it, etc, and we can examine why your FTB wasn’t successful. Does that sound like a good deal?

    Now I absolutely need to correct you on landlords forcing up prices and forcing FTB’s out. Firstly price is influenced by supply and demand, that is for sure, but the real driver behind price is the availability of credit. When we had the recession, or credit crunch, prices dropped like a stone. Indeed in my area, a 3 bed terraced house went from about £110k to under £70k. I saw some around £65k, yet there wasn’t a queue of FTB’s out of the estate agents doors. Why?? Because they couldn’t get a mortgage. Actually very few people could get a mortgage hence the prices dropped to where they did. Now interest rates have been rock bottom for years and credit is easy to get, for most, not the FTB I’m afraid. This is largely due to the mortgage market review which has meant that finances are heavily scrutinised. If you have mobile phone contracts, gym membership, or any other monthly regular outgoings it counts against you!! Landlords didn’t come up with these rules, the financial services industry did and how do you think it affects youngsters that have to join David Lloyd, Virgin Active or One Leisure? And of course they simply have to have an Iphone 6 with unlimited download and so forth.

    I would even go so far as to say that landlords actually help to keep the price of starter homes down because of the enormous number of HMO’s (Houses in Multiple Occupancy) that we own across the country. Imagine if they were all shut down overnight and all those tenants started looking to buy a one or two bed house or flat. Do you take my point there? A starter home might house one or two people whereas an HMO could house 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 or more people.

    Never fear though FW. Some top economists around the world predict a correction in house prices within the next two years, and particularly in London, which is the most over-priced city in the Western world. This will knock on to areas outside the capital and if FTB’s take action now then they may (and I do mean ‘may’) be in a position to take advantage. If I was talking to a FTB now I would suggest that they save like they’ve never saved before. Cancel the gym, downgrade the phone and cut outgoings to a bare minimum. If prices drop by 30% again then they need to be able to act at a time when it will likely be difficult to get a mortgage again. Will the average FTB do it??? I doubt it very much. They prefer to whine and moan that landlords are evil wrongdoers cheating them out of their right of home ownership.
  • commented 2015-10-09 18:15:01 +0100
    Well I don’t donate the profits to charity because as from now I will have to donate both profits, losses and my day job to the government. But I suppose keeping my rents at 25% below market value for 10 years is a form of kindly donation to the tenants. And yes, very much part of the reason I do this is because I enjoy helping people back on their feet. Although I’m sure you donate far more time and money than me to good causes. Did I ever tell you about the time I funded the purchase of a holiday cottage in Derbyshire just so a local group for mentally handicapped children could have free holidays in perpetuity…?
  • commented 2015-10-09 13:15:05 +0100
  • commented 2015-10-08 21:17:16 +0100
    So, you do all this for the good of those who life has dealt a poor hand, do you? So, no doubt when you sell a property to keep the wolf from the door because you have to pay a tax bill, you donate all profits to charitable causes? Don’t you see how pathetic it sounds? Don’t waste my time……

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New staff join the Generation Rent team

We're pleased to announce some big news at Generation Rent - with the award of three new grants, our campaign's future has been secured for the next three years and we have been able to expand the team with two new members of staff.

We also have three new board members, including a new chair, Ian Mulheirn.

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Letting fees ban moves closer - but loophole remains

Good news for hard-pressed private renters facing rip off fees from letting agents.

The Government has introduced the Tenant Fees Bill into Parliament, which aims to ban the fees commonly charged by letting agents for new tenancy agreements. This is part of the Government’s promise to make private renting cheaper and fairer and it’s a much-needed piece of legislation, especially as a quarter of us in the UK will rent privately by 2021.

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Cross-party groups give their verdicts on renting

This week we’ve had two reports from the political mainstream calling for a better deal for renters. They add to the pressure we’ve been putting on the government to improve tenant security – and though we contributed to both, they don’t quite go as far as we’d like.

The first was from the Resolution Foundation, a think tank chaired by Conservative peer David Willetts and run by Torsten Bell, previously adviser to former Labour leader Ed Miliband. 

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Government launches secret landlord blacklist

Landlords get to ask tenants for a reference, but there's no way we can check what a prospective landlord is like. That's why we've long been calling for a central database that names and shames criminal landlords.

From today we've got one. But there's a catch: only local councils can access it.

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Fees ban concerns remain as Bill completes first stage

The Commons Housing Committee has published its report on the Draft Tenants' Fees Bill today, making recommendations to the government for when it formally introduces the Bill to Parliament. 

Generation Rent, along with charities, landlord groups, local councils and other industry organisations, gave evidence to the inquiry earlier in the year. There were positive outcomes on rents and deposits, but more work is needed to make sure the ban covers all fees - and that it's enforced properly.

Here's a summary of what we asked for - and what we got.

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Making deposits work for tenants

One reason the housing market is so stacked against renters is the high cost of taking our business elsewhere, so one of the ways we can make renters more powerful is to make moving house easier.

As our research site discovered, a typical household could save £404 when they move once the letting fees ban comes in. But a bigger cost - in the short term at least - is the damage deposit worth up to six weeks' rent.

We estimate that 86% of renters get most or all of their deposit back, but only after they've already moved into a new home, so achieving that involves raiding their savings, or borrowing money. 

That's why today we're calling on the government to start allowing renters to transfer part of their deposit to a new home once they've paid the final month's rent.  

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Planned shake-up of rental market complaints system

Last October, Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities (and now Housing) said that he wanted to start requiring landlords to join a redress scheme if they did not already use a letting agent. 

The government is now consulting on plans for this. The good news is it is considering doing away with the three different schemes tenants have to navigate when they have a complaint at the moment.

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Rented London: How local authorities can support private renters

Local council elections are taking place in London in a few months. And just like the 2016 Mayoral race, these contests will be dominated by the city's housing crisis. From Haringey to Kensington and Chelsea, Londoners are looking for secure and affordable homes, and asking their councils to respond.

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First-time buyers taking out longer loans to escape the rental sector

The latest English Housing Survey report is out today with the highlights of their findings for 2016-17. 

The private rented sector has continued to grow. The population now stands at 4.7m households, with 27% of families renting from a private landlord.

It is once again the largest tenure in London (if you separate outright and mortgaged ownership), and its doubling outside the capital in the past decade illustrates the national impact the housing crisis has had.


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Homes fit for humans one step closer

Third time was the charm for efforts to revive the right of renters to sue their landlord for safety failures.

Karen Buck's Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill was talked out in 2015, then a Labour amendment to the Housing Bill in 2016 was defeated. But today, after winning the support of more than 100 MPs who attended the Second Reading debate, the Bill passed unanimously and is a step closer to being law. 

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