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 2018-08-23 16:41:16 +0100
    A friend of mine just moved house after breaking up with his girlfriend, his former landlord, who had seemed fantastic up to that point, retained a £700 deposit just because a wall needed repainted, meanwhile his new landlord hasn’t bothered to fit a lock to his front door yet (she’ll get around to it, she promises) meaning he just has to hope the local thieves don’t realise there is a house full of expensive musical gear with no lock on the door.
  • commented 2018-08-23 16:38:19 +0100
    In reponse to Andrew Hill, basically what you are saying is that you object to having the power to evict tenants on a whim taken away from you because you can be trusted to use that power responsibly, which is like saying, I should be allowed to take a samurai sword onto a plane because I can be trusted to use it responsibly.

    The problem isn’t that all landlords are bad landlords and cannot be trusted, the problem is that the burden of trust falls entirely on the tenant who is expected to just blindly trust that their landlord won’t use section 21 to evict them for no good reason because the government isn’t willing to restrict landlord’s ability to evict; and I’ve seen plenty of friends who thought they had lucked out and got a really good landlord, only for things to change because the landlord had a change of circumstances.

    If the boot was on the other foot and landlords were asked to blindly trust their tenants to a similar level then that would mean, first and foremost, no deposits, you just have to trust the tenant when they say they will look after the property. It would also mean no inspections, no references and no credit checks.
  • commented 2018-08-23 16:07:16 +0100
    Section 21 is a much needed tool for landlords and agents to be able to use to prevent tenants from being evicted from properties with unmanageable rent arrears preventing them from being able to secure rented accommodation in future, even local authorities will not rent to you if you have rent arrears under the social housing act. Without Section 21, benefit claimants will be forced to fall into arrears without being able to be legally evicted unless the landlord uses Section 8 which will leave the tenant further in debt as a result of court costs and it will damage their credit file due to the CCJ they will receive, this will make it impossible in many cases to secure private rented housing, a mortgage or any other form of credit.

    Section 21 needs reform but to ban Section 21 would be a massive, cataclysmic mistake that will impact low income tenants who it is used against properly far more negatively than it does now.

    Nobody wants to be evicted and nobody wants to evict a good tenant. When a good tenant is evicted using Section 21, it’s hardly ever for “no reason”, there’s always a reason whilst the tenant may not always be to blame.
  • commented 2018-08-14 09:36:34 +0100
    In response to Stephen’s post. Yes we could all band together to buy property, however, the pertinent issue is to create a fair, affordable, stable, rental market…and to put an end to the unfair two month eviction process, which is at present making people homeless.
  • commented 2018-08-11 13:01:02 +0100
    Remember folks that you don’t have to be a couple to get a mortgage. Friends can get together to buy.
  • commented 2018-07-24 08:59:39 +0100
    “Ending Section 21 would still allow evictions if a tenant breaks the contract. If a landlord wants to sell, that’s fine, but they should sell to another landlord, with the tenants staying put – or to the tenants themselves. If they want somewhere to live, they can rent.” — I agreed with most of your article until I read the last sentence of this paragraph. I disagree — If a landlord wants to move into their property, they should be able to. Some landlords become accidental landlords because they have to work in a different city and rent there. I don’t want to move back to my town and have to rent another place when I can just move into my place.

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Blog

Scotland's rental reforms: what can other nations learn?

In December 2017, Scotland introduced the open-ended Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) and powers for councils to introduce Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) to protect tenants from rising rents.

As we await the Westminster government’s announcement on security of tenure for private renters in England, this is a good moment to look back at the Scottish tenancy reforms and consider what’s worked well, what’s not so good, and where next for the Scottish private renter movement.

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Private renters denied protection from revenge eviction

Dangerous, broken stairs, or mouldy walls making your family ill? What do you do if the landlord won’t make sure your home is safe? Private renters can contact their council, who have a responsibility to enforce housing safety standards. The council should investigate complaints and if they find a serious hazard, take enforcement action against the landlord, which triggers protection against revenge eviction for the tenant.

But new analysis by Generation Rent shows that just one in every 20 renters who complains to the council about poor conditions gets protection from a revenge eviction. Even when a severe hazard is found, tenants only get protection from eviction in 1 in every 5 cases.

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Britain’s biggest landlords have decided to cash-in their portfolio. But not without evicting hundreds of families from their homes.

Fergus and Judith Wilson own over 700 properties. They are among Britain’s biggest private landlords, owning entire streets in some parts of Kent. Ever since their decision, in 2014, to evict all tenants on housing benefits - even those who had never been in arrears on their rent - their names have been synonymous with controversy.

Now, the Wilsons have decided to cash in on their estimated £250m property portfolio, to settle down and “take life easy”. They reckon that it’s  easier and more profitable for landlords to sell properties without tenants in-situ. So the Wilson’s have started the process of evicting their tenants in preparation for the sale.

Almost all the couples’ properties are two or three bedroom new builds, and many are home to young families. By law, the Wilsons only have to give the tenants two months’ notice of eviction. Some might manage to find new homes in this time. But many landlords are notoriously unwilling to offer tenancies to families on low incomes, meaning the most vulnerable will struggle. The chances of so many people finding suitable new homes are slim. Still less, homes nearby their employers, schools and support networks. Many must fear homelessness, and could be forced to turn to an already stretched council for support.

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Three wins on ending discrimination

There’s been some good news this month for people facing discrimination in the private rental market – because of how they pay their rent, or because of who they are.

Buy-to-let mortgage conditions

First, Natwest announced that it would lift “all restrictions on landlords renting to tenants who are in receipt of housing benefits”.

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The English Private Landlord Survey 2018

Happy tenants. Happy landlords. Longer tenancies and no unfair evictions. It’s all possible! 

The 2018 English Private Landlords Survey (EPLS) – the first since 2010 – demonstrates that much-needed changes to the private rented sector, specifically to renter security, would have little or no effects on most landlords. The current system of rules reflects the interests and opinions of a small minority of landlords at the great expense of tenants who deserve better.

The EPLS surveyed 8000 landlords and letting agents and its findings were published last month. The questionnaire covered three main topics: landlord characteristics; their attitudes and behaviours; and, importantly, the future of the private rented sector.

What are some of the key findings and what do they mean for renter security?

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Market solutions for affordable housing aren't working in London. It's time to look at rent control.

So Sadiq Khan has announced that he will develop a model of rent control for London. It’s a bold move for the Mayor of London and just opening up this conversation shows the extent of the affordability crisis affecting 2.4 million private renters in the city.

London’s rents are absurdly high, eating up ever higher proportions of people’s incomes as the last decade has seen wages stagnating while rents rose. The internationally accepted figure of rent affordability is 30% of income, yet there are only two boroughs in London where average rents are (just) less than 50% of a low-income worker’s wage. Even for private renters in middle and some high wage jobs, the dreaded annual rent rise can force you out of your home and your community, or reduce your savings pushing you further away from homeownership. High rents entrench private renters in financial precarity and erode our communities.

Market solutions to make housing affordable in London aren’t working in London. We’ve all been talking about the building more homes for years, but it just isn’t happening at the scale or speed needed to bring down rents. The economic uncertainty as a result of Brexit isn’t helping the housebuilding industry. It’s time to start looking for other answers.

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Parliament abolishes £410m-a-year scam

The House of Commons has read letting agent fees their last rites! This afternoon MPs voted to approve the final version of the Tenant Fees Bill signed off last week by the House of Lords.

From 1 June, private renters moving home will no longer have to pay fees to start a new tenancy in England. Agents will only be able to ask for rent, and refundable holding and security deposits (capped at 1 week’s rent and 5 weeks’ rent respectively). The only exemptions are fees to cover the cost of lost keys, late rent payments, changing the name on a tenancy or ending a tenancy early.

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The lexical challenge of building more affordable homes

At the launch of the Affordable Housing Commission in October, the chair, Lord Best, a veteran of august commissions spanning the past 30 years, related an experience he’d had with one that was looking at The Future of the Family.

More than halfway into the process, its chair came to meet its sponsor (then plain old Richard Best) and admitted that they were a little behind schedule. They hadn’t managed to agree on a definition of “family”.

From the off, members of the commission – of which I am honoured to be one – are therefore highly conscious of the need to get the basics right. But not only do we need to know what “affordable” means (already the subject of much controversy in the housing world), but I think we also need to define “home”.

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2018 takes renters closer to a fairer housing market

It's our End Of Year round-up! 2018 has been an exciting year for the campaign. Through our work - with activists, renter unions and other groups - we are closer to a safer, fairer and more secure private rental market.

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Letting Agents are not the "servants of two masters"

Parliament’s scrutiny of the Tenant Fees Bill has exposed the common misconception that a letting agent works for both the landlord and the tenant. A letting agent is not, as David Cox, CEO of ARLA Propertymark had put it, “effectively the servant of two masters.” Letting agents typically act for only one side (usually, the landlord).

An agent’s role is to serve the interests of the person who appoints them. It is simply not possible to act loyally for two parties whose interests are at odds (e.g. when one side would rather receive higher rent and the other would rather pay less). To suggest otherwise is to contradict English statute and common law, the Property Ombudsman’s guidance, the forthcoming Tenant Fees Bill and even the Bible.

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