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 2015-10-07 18:44:55 +0100
    Just for the avoidance of doubt, all three of you are sticking your heads in the sand about the consequences of you, and all other private landlords, buying up entry level properties. You are hiding behind any convenient fabricated argument, but plain common sense says I’m right, never mind my own personal observations and experiences. I had friends who also have “property portfolios”. They also hide behind pathetic excuses and don’t use common sense, which is why they are ex friends. I don’t mind trying to persuade people in denial such as yourselves, but am not going to be called a liar or sworn at by the 2 James’. This is why I am not continuing this discussion, not because you have in any way persuaded me. You are selfish, greedy grasping people, even if you are sensible enough to realise that being “good” landlords means your cash cows are easier to maintain. I shall not be responding to any further posts on this subject at this time.
  • commented 2015-10-07 16:28:54 +0100
    Good points well made Stephen. FW may be interested to know that a Freedom of Information request was made to HMRC to know what studies had been done in terms of how many FTB’s have been kept out of the market by landlords and the response was there was no information available. In other words there has been no study done. Until a sensible and serious offering of credible data is put forward nobody really knows how big the problem is or even if there really is one at all. Sure there’s a lot of hype and media stating this (particularly from the owners of this site and say, The Guardian) but you can only make sensible decisions on sound data. For example, the Government might say (have said) that they are going to build masses of starter homes. How many is masses because what it means to you may be completely different to what it means to me. And if you don’t know how many you’re going to build then you don’t know what it is going to cost. And you don’t know how many you need to build without that sound data. It’s all smoke and mirrors without the numbers and that, I’m afraid, is where many people want to keep the issue. If numbers aren’t going to help the ‘cause’ then they won’t be published. I note that GR have changed from saying rents going up is ‘nonsense because rents are as high as they can be’ to acknowledging that rent increases are being ‘mumbled’ about in landlords groups and are clearly so worried that they have produced their video suggesting ways to negotiate against them (pointless as they’re being forced by George Osborne) and the change in their approach is, I’m sure, because they now understand the finance issues around doing this. They’ve seen the numbers! So, if the ‘issue’ of landlords allegedly keeping FTB’s out of the market is to hold water then we need those numbers. Maybe FW will be astounded at how low they are, maybe we’ll be astounded at high they are! However there are so many other things to take into account in that the world today is not the same as it was 5, 10 or 20 years ago. People’s expectations are rightly or wrongly, considerably higher. I know landlords that struggle to get paid their rents (even though they are actually housing benefit). Instead the tenant splashes out on Sky, Iphone 6’s, beer and fags and the list goes on. 20 years ago people had more respect for the roof over their heads. If FTB’s want to save for a deposit they will have to make sacrifices. Some will save enough, some won’t, as was ever the case. James Roberts makes good points as do you in that a lot of people don’t want to buy. I’ve had families that could buy but don’t want to for a variety of reasons. The reasons make sense to them but perhaps they wouldn’t to us. It’s personal choice, so what are the numbers that apply to FTB’s and how many of them could buy a home and would buy a home if it meant the sacrifices?
  • commented 2015-10-07 16:03:10 +0100
    Foxwatcher, I don’t think I did miss-understand your issue which is that there are not enough affordable properties for FTB’s which you believe is the sole fault of BTL landlords. It is insulting of you to paint all BTL landlords as greedy parasites feeding off the misfortune of a generation of young people who cant afford to buy their own property. The point I was making is that not all tenants want to buy a home and rely on the PRS for a decent rental home. Most landlords are not ripping tenants off and provide a good and much needed service.

    In my area FTB’s want two bed ‘starter’ homes and it is their demand for these which drives the price way above what a BTL landlord would pay due to the low return which in turn is governed by the rent achievable, as a consequence there is a shortage of two bed accommodation available to rent. On the other side one bed ‘Starter’ homes are bought by BTL landlords because FTB’s are not interested, and yes I sold one recently and not one FTB came to see it. Three and four bed homes are generally upsizing and therefore second or third purchases.

    On the subject of mortgages, a BTL landlord would need a minimum of 25-30% deposit and guaranteed rental income of 125% of the monthly rental, a FTB can in some cases get a 95%-100% mortgage, and can borrow four to five times combined salary, and help with the deposit from the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. I accept that in London in particular this may not be enough for FTB’s to get on the property ladder but when it comes to property London is an entirely different ‘country’ and should not be used to tar the rest of the country with the same brush.
  • commented 2015-10-07 15:13:05 +0100
    Foxwatcher, did you see my post from about 40 minutes ago? It seems to have disappeared from the main site but I can still get it on my phone. It was the one about me backing the mortgage of an FTB, and encouraging FTBs wherever possible. If you didnt see it thats a shame, as I’d hoped to put the word ‘selfish’ out of your mind when thinking of my actions. Some battles we will never win. While I see your point, you dont appear to see mine. That is a shame. Whether you believe it or not, I think we ultimately might want many of the same things.
  • commented 2015-10-07 15:08:04 +0100
    James, R, I accept the apology about the mistaken post. Don’t you just love technology?! However, I don’t accept obscenity or being called a liar, and this is why I’m not carrying on past this post. My points are valid. You all need to understand the harm you are doing to an innocent generation, largely for your own selfish benefit. Good afternoon, finally.
  • commented 2015-10-07 15:01:55 +0100
    I accept all that Stephen including the reference to slanging match. I want people like Foxwatcher to just open their minds and look at the facts, there is no call for some of the less savoury remarks made. Nevertheless I challenge Generation Rent to show the example I sent on their site so that people such as FW can see they are misguided in terms of their understanding of returns on investments and so forth. Alas GR will almost certainly not do this as it undermines the message they’ve been putting out there for years. They have campaigned for the limiting of mortgage interest relief and the result will be catastrophic for families and individuals in the private rented sector. Rents will escalate significantly but many landlords will exit altogether or sell the properties that cannot take rent increases (particularly the tenants on housing benefits). In my extended example I showed an argument to say that it could be as many as 2.4 million people (though the example was taken from someone else). I personally believe that the very smallest number of displaced people will be in excess of 200,000 people. This is a dreadful situation. FW may well think this is a good thing because he will likely argue that it will cause house prices to fall to the level that FTB’s can buy at, but it is simply not the case for 3 reasons: 1. The tenant FTB’s will be paying higher rents and therefore have to save much longer for a deposit. 2. Lenders will not lend readily if house prices are dropping so FTB’s may need to put in a much larger deposit. 3. Any extra tax on a sector or product will have a knock-on effect. Much like if diesel escalates in price then people buying a car will look more favourably towards a petrol vehicle, the result is that manufacturers will sense greater demand and increase the price for them. The same will, in time, follow on with houses because of the tax change. It just adds pressure on house price inflation and to some extent or other will help to boost them. The only winner here lives at No 11 Downing Street and it seems he doesn’t care a jot for the tenants to be evicted, especially after many of them will already be hit with the changes to tax credits.

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A victory on tenant security, but the campaign continues

After reports in the Sunday papers, late yesterday afternoon the Ministry of Housing published its long-awaited consultation paper on "Overcoming Barriers to Longer Tenancies in the Private Rented Sector".

It allows us a moment to celebrate the first success of the End Unfair Evictions campaign: an acceptance by the government that private tenancy law is failing England's tenants - just as our petition passes 40,000 signatures

Leaving the detail of the policy to one side for now, it is significantly the first time the government has considered a change to tenancy law. Up to now ministers have been talking of merely "encouraging" landlords to offer better terms - while most landlords might do this, a lot of tenants would get no benefit. We have been arguing that we need full reform and, while incentives are still an option, mandatory reform is now on the table.

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Protection from revenge evictions a postcode lottery

This week we launched the End Unfair Evictions coalition with ACORNLondon Renters Union, and New Economics Foundation. We're calling for an end to Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without needing a reason. 

One reason we're doing is that existing protections are not working in practice.

Back in 2014/15, we fought a hard campaign alongside Shelter, GMB Young London and others to give tenants basic protection from eviction when they complained about their landlord. 

The resulting measures in the Deregulation Act 2015 stopped landlords from serving a Section 21 eviction notice to tenants if the council had found hazards in the property and served an appropriate improvement notice on the owner. This protection lasted for 6 months and was meant to give tenants more confidence in getting their landlord to fix health and safety problems, because the landlord can no longer simply retaliate by kicking them out.

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New mayoral strategy develops plans for London's private renters

Two million tenants in London will welcome the fact that getting a fairer deal for private renters is one of the Mayor of London’s five priorities for housing in the London Housing Strategy, which was published at the end of May. Given that Sadiq Khan’s housing powers are highly limited, what is his strategy promising to private renters in London?

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MPs vote to ban fees

The Tenant Fees Bill had its second reading in Parliament on Monday evening, where it was debated at length by MPs before being passed unanimously through to committee stage. All the issues that we’ve raised as a concern – default fees, the deposit cap, enforcement of the ban on letting fees – were brought up by MPs in the course of the debate. 

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What is Section 21 and why does it need to be scrapped?

Landlords can remove tenants without giving a reason. That’s unfair and it needs to change.

Most of England’s 11 million renters are on contracts with fixed terms of six months or a year; after this period has ended, landlords can evict their tenants with just two months’ notice – and without even giving them a reason. These ‘no fault evictions’ were introduced under section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act. Before this, private tenants had much greater security and it was much harder for landlords to evict tenants who paid the rent on time and looked after the property. The government has finally decided to consult on ways of improving renter security, but - while there are some promising aspects to their proposals - they suggest that no-fault evictions will remain. Generation Rent, the New Economics Foundation, ACORN and the London Renters Union are launching a campaign to abolish section 21.

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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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