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 14:43:18 +0100
    It is not surprising but disappointing that this forum is degenerating into a slanging match between Foxhunter and the two James. Foxhunter your arguments make no financial sense and no matter how you look at it will do nothing to help tenants situations. The housing crisis is a simple matter of supply & demand, and the PRS is subject to the same market forces. If there were more houses and flats available then rents would go down as would property prices. However unlike property prices rents are often ‘capped’ by affordability and salaries with 30 times the monthly rent being the annual salary required.

    In previous posts you mention corporate landlords and believe these would be better than private landlords, my experience of these do no reflect that thinking, corporates will increase rents annually as do Housing Associations and Councils, they will do the minimum to maintain the properties and often take much longer to carry out repairs which are done for the cheapest price possible and not very well. The majority of Private Landlords are responsible individuals who look after their properties and tenants and often do not increase rents annually or in line with current market rents as they wish to retain good tenants for as long as possible. For a large proportion of tenants renting is a lifestyle choice and in London in particular is due to the fluidity of the employment market.

    Finally if you have a private pension or even a company pension then you are more than likely a ‘Buy to let’ landlord as the big pension providers have large portfolios of residential let properties as part of their pension investments.
  • commented 2015-10-07 14:27:19 +0100
    Well I certainly don’t think we want you laughing Foxwatcher, I suspect that would be a fate worse than death. I would love you to see the simple example I’ve supplied Dan but it won’t come out on a simple forum like this, so go on ask Generation Rent to publish it on the site. Like I said they won’t do it but perhaps he’ll send it to you personally. Ask him. If not then the offer is still open to meet up and I’ll show you myself. You will see that the numbers are fairly ordinary in terms of house prices, rent, yield and so forth. What will not fit in with your distorted view is that the return is only 2.4%. With the tax change it reduces to zero and with a 1% interest rate rise the landlord will be subsidising the rent to the tune of £1.2k per year. So you’ll see that landlords do not make much money, unless they have huge portfolios of course, then they may. But the average landlord is not, and some even make a loss, which they’re about to get taxed on too. I read somewhere recently that 95% of landlords have 4 properties or less. So you see that is why rents are about to go through the roof. In the example I sent Dan the landlord has to increase rents by 20% just to break even so hundreds of thousands of tenants are going to be evicted and you seem to be rubbing your hands with glee. Is this the ‘main issue’ you say we’re skirting because if it isn’t you’d better explain yourself because we’re not avoiding any topic. Or is it what you say about preventing FTB’s from buying because we’ve covered that too? And you clearly are not the ‘18th’ prospective buyer on this fantasy example you quote. To be honest though, if landlords were keeping so many FTB’s out of the market like you claim, wouldn’t there have been queues of FTB’s along the road to see the place??? Of course there would. More like 17 FTB’s and one investor! Talk about coming clean!! Pot, kettle, black
  • commented 2015-10-07 14:21:55 +0100
    Cockswatcher. At last, you acknowledge something fair and reasonable – that there might just be fair minded landlords out there and that we might be two of them. Yes. If you joined me for just one day I am sure I could change your mind about my motives, my personality, my ‘greed’ and how much I care for my tenants. Would you believe me if I said I know one person who works for Shelter who is also a serial private landlord, and several in my local (Labour) council housing team who are? I also have a tenant who was a poster girl for Shelter, and she has lived in two of my houses and loves (she says) being my tenant. I do want to defend the point you raise though. If I KNEW in advance an FTB was seriously going for a property I wouldn’t – and haven’t – bid on it. I AM outbid by them as I often find out after its sold that an FTB has got the house I was interested in, but it is rare an FTB wants my houses – they are at least 3 beds and usually in poor condition when I buy them. I promise you Foxwatcher – promise – that I have tried to encourage FTBs I know many times to bid on these houses but they do not want them. I have encouraged my wealthier tenants to buy their homes from me, not so I can make a profit but because I truly believe in home ownership wherever possible and WANTENJOY – seeing them succeed and get their lives together, but they consistently turn me down as they don’t want the physical tie, or the responsibility. In one case my tenant refuses to buy because he is setting up a business of his own and is more interested in using his capital for that. These are the people my private services (fnarr fnarr) provide for. Finally – for what its worth to you – a mate of mine is trying to buy his first house at age 40 and has a decent deposit but cannot get a mortgage as his earnings don’t cover it. I am personally underwriting his mortgage as this is the only way to get him on the housing ladder. I know of no one else who would do this, even amongst his own family. I even briefly considered buying a house in his area (120 miles from me) so I could set him a low rent and a secure fixed-term tenancy, just to give him his own secure place after his wife died, but on reflection I told him his wealth was better preserved in buying his own. (Many months later, he is still looking, btw. Not because landlords have beaten him to the houses, but because he doesn’t want anything he has to do work on, a story I hear from many FTBs). So carry on with your prejudices and simplistic view of the world, but there are excellent landlords out there, just as there are tenants who want housing without having to buy it.
  • commented 2015-10-07 13:47:12 +0100
    I’d laugh if the matter was less important. You want to explain numbers, go ahead in full view of all. They’ll be as fictional as your ever feeble justifications which may pass muster in Jamesworld with its two inhabitants, but doesn’t cut it with rational, reasonable people who don’t shaft others to get what they couldn’t otherwise aspire to. I note that you continue to skirt round the main issue I’m making. Pathetic and selfish. As I’d expect. And as for whether or not I was the 18th viewer – that’s my business which I’m not talking about on this site. But I do promise you the information and facts are true. If that indicates to you that you’re buying in the wrong part of the country, I’m very pleased!
  • commented 2015-10-07 13:19:07 +0100
    I think I’ve already answered that point my old son in that I buy larger properties. Do you know anyone as a FTB that would buy one and if you do then shame on them! They should be allowing families with kids to take the house, as indeed are my tenants that are in them, plus the HMO’s where I house several people in luxury they couldn’t otherwise afford. I note that you haven’t taken up my offer of explaining the numbers to you – interesting then Foxwatcher. Must be worried about being proved wrong. And indeed you would be. Not us looking poor from our responses old boy, it is yourself I’m afraid. You’ve made wildly inaccurate assumptions about our lifestyles and then state that they are apparently the lifestyles we’re chasing. You make assumptions about the properties we buy when you know nothing about them and you state that we’re cheating FTB’s out of them when we’re not. You also suggest but don’t state you were the 18th buyer on the example you dreamed up. So quite clearly you weren’t the 18th prospective buyer or you would have said outright in the first instance. It’s a fantasy example from your own little world (don’t worry they’re probably all friendly people there and run a big brother state). I asked why you have such an issue with landlords supplying a basic human need but not with Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s? You choose not to come out with anything of substance but just continue with your inaccurate rave about silent movie landlords. I’m surprised we haven’t seen you accuse us of tying young women to railway tracks! I can hear the dramatic music on the piano now. Never fear buttmuncher the Keystone Cops will come to the rescue soon!
  • commented 2015-10-07 13:08:00 +0100
    One final thing – I’m not saying either of you are bad landlords. I can’t possibly know. I’m complaining that you’ve purchased properties from under the noses of youngsters who want nothing more than to own their own property. If you want to defend something, think about that one point, please.

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Autumn Budget - an anticlimax for renters

The big news in today's Budget was the abolition of stamp duty for most first-time buyers. 

From today if you buy your first home you'll pay nothing to the government on the first £300,000 (unless it costs more than £500,000 and you need to be super-rich before you're in that territory).

Read more

Life in the rental market: what the future holds for older renters

Most debates around housing focus on young adults, the drastic fall in their rate of home ownership and ways to boost the number of first time buyers.

Far less attention, however, is given to the vast numbers of renters who are already too old to get a mortgage and face a lifetime of renting instead. As more of them reach retirement age, the state will start paying more of their rent, and faces enormous costs unless it makes some fundamental changes to the housing market. Because politicians only operate with 5-year horizons, few are fretting about the implications of lifetime renting.

But we are, and today we publish a report co-authored with David Adler of Oxford University: Life in the Rental Market.

Read more

A glimpse of Tory tenancy reform?

An intriguing exchange in the House of Commons this week may contain clues about the government's big forthcoming announcement of reforms to tenancies. 

During a debate on temporary accommodation, the backbench Conservative MP Bob Blackman said this:

The greatest cause of homelessness is the end of an assured shorthold tenancy. They usually run for six months and at the end of that period families often have to move. The solution is clear: we need longer tenancies and more security of tenure for families, but also assurances to landlords that they will get paid their rent and that the tenants will behave themselves in accordance with the contract they have signed. I ask the Minister to update us on where we are going with lengthening tenancies, which would dramatically reduce homelessness at a stroke. Perhaps we can do that.

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Insecure tenancies drag down quality of life

With home ownership unaffordable and council housing unavailable, private renters are living longer in a tenure that wasn't designed to provide long term homes. The constant threat of your landlord deciding to sell up or move back in means that you have none of the stability that a home is supposed to provide.

New polling from Survation, commissioned by us, exposes the impact this has on tenants' lives. It shows that private renters are more anxious about the security of their home and this is holding them back from investing time in their home and their local community. 


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Slowly, but surely, a letting fees ban is coming

Almost a year after Phillip Hammond announced the Government's intention to banning letting fees, we now have a draft bill before parliament.

Since that announcement, we have had a consultation on the ban, and of course a new government, but it has remained on the legislative agenda thanks to the concerted campaigning of renters across the country.

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Disrupting the market to help tenants

The internet has already shaken up the music industry, television, taxis and self-catering holidays. Investors are now looking for the next industry to disrupt with technology and property seems ripe for the picking. 

As the national voice of private renters, we agree that the property industry as it stands fails its consumers in too many ways, so things need to change. Even when we succeed in changing the law, like the forthcoming letting fees ban, we still need to ensure that it's implemented properly and the industry adapts in the right way. 

But we can't allow slick and revolutionary new services or initiatives to simply treat tenants as cash cows in the same way that many letting agents and landlords currently do. So this is what we think the market needs - and how the tenant should benefit.

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Lodgers need protection too

Where’s my deposit? It is no joking matter for nearly 300,000 tenants whose landlord has not protected their deposit.

This has left many out of pocket without a clue of how they will manage to raise another deposit - the average amount in London stands at £1040 for their next property.

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Landlord licensing works - yet the government is delaying renewal of the most successful scheme

Since the east London borough of Newham introduced mandatory borough-wide licensing of all private landlords in 2013, improvements in the sector have been indisputable. Criminal landlords are being driven out of the borough, standards and safety in the sector have improved and enforcement has dramatically increased.

Yet with the scheme due to expire on 31 December 2017, government is now more than four weeks overdue in making a decision on approval of a new, five-year scheme, to start in the new year.

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Tory conference announcements pull punches on housing crisis

At the General Election in June, Labour won a majority of the votes of the under-40s. This was a wake-up call for the Conservative Party, many of whose members are now filled with a new urgency to address this cohort's biggest concerns - including a rather large house-shaped one.

Their annual conference has duly been bursting with new housing policies, particularly for private renters. But while they are (for the most part) improvements, the proposals fail to address the urgency of the housing crisis.

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How new rent controls could work

The biggest talking point of Jeremy Corbyn's speech to Labour Party conference this week was rent controls. Since 2014 Labour has been proposing to limit rises in rents during tenancies, but there was something different this time around.

This is what the Labour leader said on Wednesday:

We will control rents - when the younger generation’s housing costs are three times more than those of their grandparents, that is not sustainable. Rent controls exist in many cities across the world and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections.

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