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 2017-12-29 15:46:35 +0000
    Hi Foxwatcher. Thanks for the reply but I’m not sure how you’ve read my comment as me being happy to rent privately. The point is that I have little choice. Remember that my entrance into adulthood was during the late 90s – the exact time at which council housing began to become more and more scarce. I made some tentative efforts to source council housing around that time (and later) but was always discouraged by the lengthy waiting lists and also told that as a single young male I wasn’t a priority (which is fair enough in many ways). The only thing I ever was offered was a high rise flat in my late 20s (via a council-cum-housing association I might add – ie not even fully state owned) and in no way suggesting that this is beneath me (trust me – I’ve lived in worse) I took the decision that I could source something a little more suitable in the private market for only slightly more rent and have been in the private market ever since. Suggesting that this “choice” makes me some sort of socialist traitor is surely a hopelessly ultra left position. You could just as easily claim that I’m not a socialist because I work for a profit making organisation and buy consumer products (you know, like, live under capitalism and not in some kind of self-created socialist vacuum). It’s a baseless accusation. But anyway, I don’t want to argue with you as we’re essentially in agreement and I don’t like to argue with others on the left (much). I completely agree that “buy to let” should be illegal. Do you (or anyone) know how I can become actively involved in Generation Rent (ie attend meetings, campaign on behalf of tenants etc.)? That’s basically why I joined the site. Cheers, James
  • commented 2017-12-28 19:15:35 +0000
    James Hinchcliffe – Hi. You say that you find “buy to let” morally repugnant and it offends your socialist principles, yet you have apparently happily rented from a private landlord for many years, lining their pockets with both your rent and the capital increase of the property. I can’t see how you can imply that you’re happy with this situation. Buy to let needs to be made illegal.
  • commented 2017-12-28 18:46:48 +0000
    Hi there. Great site and been meaning to join for a while. I’m 43 and have always rented – as someone who has been single for most of my adult life and on a modest income I’ve long since been resigned to the fact that I’m likely to rent for the rest of my life. More than this, however, I’ve never quite been able to understand the obsession with owning a home. My needs are quite modest and as long as I have somewhere decent to live I’m perfectly happy to rent. What tangible difference does it make to anyone’s life whether they own or rent their home, after all? Your home is your home at the end of the day. I spent most of my 20s and 30s somewhat baffled with this very British obsession of home ownership and in many ways it helped shape my socialist outlook on life. To me this weird obsession is a fundamental part of our increasingly rampant and unsustainable consumerist outlook and basically a legacy of Thatcher.

    There are of course objective reasons why home ownership is desirable but when you boil these down they are not really positive reasons but more accurately just the avoidance of increasingly negative (and even punitive) conditions facing renters. Who would want to have to put up with exorbitant rents on short, insecure terms and often in low quality housing? No-one, obviously. But is the sensible response to this that everyone owns their own home? Clearly not, as the current economic situation confirms. It isn’t (and never was) even remotely possible possible and the Thatcherist dream thus built on sand. Put simply, there is nothing wrong with renting and most people should rent. It’s time for us all to abandon our prejudices and our inflated (and often wholly unrealistic and unnecessary) aspirations and instead look at this through the correct end of the telescope.

    My current home is a perfect case in point of where things went wrong – an old-fashioned terrace house in an inner city area with a fair bit of wear and tear but nonetheless perfect for my needs. This house screams “council house” and had I been born 30 years earlier I would be living here on a modest rent with a permanent fixed tenancy (save any criminal activity etc.) and with access to quick and efficient repairs. And I would be perfectly happy with that. Instead, however, through no fault of my own (except for not having a vast income or wealthy parents) I rent for a small fortune from a private landlord whose parents most likely bought the property under Thatcher’s “Right To Buy” scheme at some point in the 1990s. I also have only 6 months guaranteed tenancy at any given time and little access to decent repairs. Basically the home is fine but the terms under which I rent it (and my level of security) are anything but. To add to my predicament, I am also acutely aware from first hand experience that there is a shortage of similar housing out there should I have to move (not to mention the cost and upheaval).

    What is needed, clearly, is not a vain, economy-busting push for more people to buy properties but 2 things:

    (1) A massive program of new council house building, and

    (2) Vast swathes of old council properties like mine to be taken back into council ownership and rented on an affordable, long-term basis.

    The current system is simply unsustainable and creating an enormous gulf between the lucky (my landlord) and unlucky (myself). I have no desire to turn the tables and become one of the “lucky” ones (this goes entirely against my socialist principles anyway – “buy to let" I consider to be morally repugnant, for example) but merely wish to see the social housing rental market – which should be the vast majority of housing in any sensible society – to be designed in favour of renters and not of private landlords out to make a quick buck. This will not be achieved without an almighty fight but I am very happy to add my energies to the cause. Cheers again and happy to hear from you if I can help.
  • commented 2017-12-22 06:10:00 +0000
    I am 37 weeks pregnant,planning homebirth.Told agency and landlord to.Couple of days ago we received letter that we need to move out.We can’t move earlier as it is a fix 12 month contract so we have to stay till mid Feb.When we rented this place we payed around 800£ fee where we agreed (in word) in long term tenancy,and now Cubit and West through us on street in winter.And they have all the right to do so…
  • commented 2017-11-28 15:58:29 +0000
    I’m sick of agents raising there fees and non refundable deposits to whatever they like! There needs to be proper legislation control over agent fees and terms to stop them ripping off private tenant. My recent flat hunt has unearthed huge discrepancies in fees and terms, where is the protection for the tenant?
  • commented 2017-11-21 17:58:28 +0000
    For many they will never be able to buy a property. Just not “affordable”. The country needs more social/council housing. Tenants should be given full protection if they rent from private landlords. Currently, the tenant is at a disadvantage. There should be rent controls and assured tenancy. The short notice to vacate at 2 months should be stopped. Green belt must be protected and where possible brownfield land used.

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Pressure builds on Natwest over benefit discrimination

Back in October, we learned that Natwest had asked one of its buy-to-let customers to either evict her tenant, who was receiving housing benefit, or pay a draconian fee to switch her mortgage.

The bank’s terms and conditions prohibited customers from letting to tenants in receipt of housing benefit. Yet another example of a bank discriminating against low-income households and fuelling the “No DSS” culture. But this time, 62% of the bank is owned by the government, i.e. us.

The landlord has started a petition urging the government to stop this practice by high street banks, and it’s nearly at 5000 signatures.

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Life after Section 21

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Housing Act 1988 receiving Royal Assent and becoming law. The Act introduced the assured shorthold tenancy, and, with it, Section 21, the ability for landlords to evict without needing a reason.

As part of the End Unfair Evictions campaign we are calling for Section 21 to be scrapped, and demanded this in our response to the government’s recent consultation on longer tenancies. In our response we also set out how the private rental market should work once Section 21 is history.

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Lords send ministers away to fix fees ban

The letting fees ban has inched closer to being law. Yesterday a Grand Committee of the House of Lords went through most of the Tenant Fees Bill, line by line. There are still potential loopholes that could leave tenants vulnerable to exploitation.

Following lobbying by ourselves, Shelter and Citizens Advice, and amendments by peers including Baroness Grender and Lord Kennedy, the government has now agreed to examine them before the Report Stage.

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Hammond Housing Horror

Despite repeated cries by the Chancellor that “your hard work has paid off”, the Autumn Budget was underwhelming in its efforts to address the housing crisis. In brief, nothing new for renters, a mixed bag for landlords, and support for first-time buyers moving into shared ownership. Several extra pots of cash for housebuilding but well short of what’s needed and nothing radical in terms of reforming the land market to funnel the proceeds of development to local communities and build more council homes.

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What happens to rents if landlords exit the market? Nothing.

Today we publish new research looking at the relationship between the size of the private rental market and rents, in light of the credit crunch, landlord tax changes, and proposals for tenancy reform.

We demonstrate that:

  • A fall in rental supply is matched by a fall in demand as renters become home owners
  • There is no impact on inflation-adjusted rents - in fact they've been falling
  • The experience of the past 14 years suggests rents are most closely linked to wages - i.e. what renters can afford to pay
  • This should give the government confidence to press on with substantial reform to tenancies
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Is Onward's policy Right to Buy for private renters?

Right to Buy was electoral gold dust to the Conservatives back in the 1980s, but since council homes were sold off unreplaced, and the social housing sector dwindled, it has lost its lustre. With housing policy the key to winning over today’s 18 to, er, 45 year olds, it’s no wonder some in the party have taken up alchemy.

Onward, a think tank peopled by former government advisers, thinks it has the answer, which is about as close to Right to Buy for private tenants as we’re likely to get. Because the property is not the state’s to sell, it’s merely Chance to Buy.

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May removes yet another obstacle to council home building

This week has been the Conservative Party's conference, and their chance to match Labour's pledges to abolish Section 21 and seed-fund renters' unions. 

There is a lot of worry among the party faithful that they are not doing enough about housing - the defining political issue of a generation. But with consultation responses on security being scrutinised by officials back in Whitehall, and Help to Buy facing negative attention, their options were narrow.

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Mayor of London backs indefinite tenancies

At the Labour party conference this week, delegates adopted a motion to (among other things) "Help private renters with an end to ‘no fault’ evictions, controls on rents and new minimum standards, including three year tenancies as standard." 

The BBC reported on this commitment, but beyond the wording of this motion and John Healey's speech, we haven't had any more detail of what this would entail. 

Luckily, Sadiq Khan has obliged. While the Mayor of London is not a member of the Shadow Cabinet, last week's publication of his response to the government's consultation on longer tenancies revealed that he is calling for much the same thing, plus some more idea of what it might look like in practice.

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Labour signs up to #endsection21

We kind of knew this already, but Labour is officially backing our campaign to end Section 21 and will scrap landlords' ability to evict tenants without giving a reason. It was reported by the BBC this morning, was part of the shadow Housing Secretary John Healey's speech in the conference centre, and then a motion on housing that included it was passed.

This follows members of the End Unfair Evictions doing a lot of work behind the scenes to successfully get local Labour parties to support the motion.

An even bigger piece of news was a £20m pot to jumpstart tenants' unions in the UK, reported by the Independent

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Before you rent: How to protect your legal rights

Finding a flat to rent in England can be tough. The stress only compounds when things don’t go as planned. When I lived in London, I got caught out when my landlord insisted on “renegotiating” the tenancy terms after I had paid a holding deposit (a troublingly common practice in the market).

Here are twelve things tenants can do to protect their rights, which helped me succeed in my legal claim against my landlord.

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