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 2019-05-10 17:08:42 +0100
    A Buy to Let, Landlord, friend of mine had NO idea – this week, about the new regulation being introduced on June 1st re: Letting Fees Ban! I am a seasoned renter, through an agency and so could put him straight. But WHY are people – and especially Landlords, still not aware of this? I’m not sure he believes it!
  • commented 2019-05-10 01:03:06 +0100
    I had to pay 6 MONTHS up-front, to secure my house – why????
  • commented 2019-04-29 20:20:20 +0100
    would like to see rents aligned with the quality of the property, including its state of repair, energy efficiency, and size of rooms. Not all 3 bedroomed homes are the same size. Whilst this might sound like the bedroom tax it is not. If the overall 3 bedroomed property offered is spacious and has a dining room, and three reasonable bedrooms including a drive and a garden then surely more rent should be charged for this property than a three bedroomed property with two reasonable bedrooms and a box room, with no dining room, a communal entrance path and no garden. If a home has a high energy rating then more should be charged because the landlord has invested in a new boiler and has done everything possible to make the home energy efficient, the tenant will reap rewards from low energy bills. Likewise, if a property has an older boiler, a door that is draughty or isn’t fitted correctly, and has failed to insulate the loft on the basis they aren’t living in the property and therefore don’t have to pay the bills caused by poor quality housing. The benefits agency should reflect the quality of the housing too if a resident has a long lease but no upgrades and updates are done and the home becomes less secure, in disrepair, less energy efficient as standards rise then the level of housing benefit paid to that particular landlord should decrease. Whilst the buy to let landlord is in the business to make a profit for doing very little energy expenditure peoples lives suffer. Pushing the risk onto private landlords is only a good thing if those landlords are made responsible for the maintenance, repairs and upgrades and should not be used as a way of pushing inadequate housing into the private rented sector so that the government/local authority can absolve themselves of any responsibility for the quality of homes its electorate are forced to live within – especially benefit dependent individuals, families and the low paid. The benefits agency should not be paying rent to any landlord for substandard houses, private or social landlord included. The only way that a landlord can be made to repair his housing stock is by giving the tenant the legal right and legal aid to do so and this means funding legal aid so that the courts can enforce a landlord to uphold his tenancy with the complainant and conduct the necessary repairs that the tenant/surveyor/court has identified as needing repair. a private landlord who is in the rending sector to make as much profit as possible isn’t going to do repairs unless forced. There is a health and safety aspect to some unfit homes too, including annual gas boiler service not being carried out, fixed electrical appliances being pat tested annually , fire alarms being wired-in type, not battery operated, rewiring is up to a reasonable repair, offering appliances that are not safe, steps to the property in good repair and with a suitable handrail as required, and the stairway having a bannister rail to mention a few. All sound logical but if a landlord solely focused on profit and not delivering quality housing they will invariably not undertake the more costly professional approach. Every single item mentioned here has happened to my daughter, my work colleagues daughter, my niece during the last 5 years. All were forced to move out as the properties were unfit and the landlords would not conduct the checks and repairs. My niece did manage to get some repairs completed but her relationship with the landlord had completely broken down and she was asked to leave so that the landlord could do the repairs. The home wasn’t repaired before the new tenant entered as on checking there was a new tenant in the house within 4 days. The local authorities concerned were ineffective in enforcing the landlords to conduct repairs and they took too long to respond. All three girls have now moved into social housing where they are listened to and responded to any concerns and repairs conducted as they should be. All have significantly invested in their rented properties and are happier people. Private landlords should all be put on a register (easy to do with land registry information to highlight who owns a property – its time to digitally update and share this information to empower communities to contact landlords when there is a problem. and tenants should be able to update their record of tenancy with any praise or criticism so that other possible tenants know what to expect from that particular landlord. This will immediately clean up the rented sector by default. If landlords are in housing for a quick buck they will leave the sector and this will strengthen those who remain and create happier communities. We shouldn’t be allowing the profiteering from the poorer members of our society if their houses are not up to a minimum standard of repair. Whilst the cuts to local authorities unravel there has never been a better time to fund them to be the watchdog of private landlords because its their very communities that poor housing effects. If this flushes lots of poor quality housing onto the market this can only be a great thing for first time buyers as those able to buy would conduct repairs on their own homes over time eventually reselling them in a better state as by default when you own a home you want it to be the best it can be related to what you can afford. Landlords can’t have the same passion by default. Anyone can buy-to-let but not just anyone can be a good landlord – with no real power to local authorities to enforce private landlords to provide quality homes not linking the quality of homes to the rents chargeable – value for money – just fuels private landlord bad attitudes to people, and increases the lack of inadequate homes further damaging tenants self esteem and moral.
  • commented 2019-04-24 17:17:08 +0100
    Hi Jo,
    Good news – renewal fees will be banned from 1st June. And banned for existing tenancies from June 2020.
    Good news – deposits will be capped at 5 week’s rent or you can use a zero deposit scheme (if you can find a landlord or agent willing to accept this)
  • commented 2019-04-24 07:25:18 +0100
    Is there a group here in Plymouth or nearby ?
  • commented 2019-04-23 21:19:28 +0100
    I’ve been emailing Theresa May at Downing Street asking her what is she prepared to do to help people that are renting and struggling to move out for example I want to move to a larger property myself and my partner have worked full time all our lives will need 3000 to even think about moving to another property this is on fair and I’m just in today’s society with the price of living in every think else going up how do people expect us to survive I’ve already emailed Theresa May about the high suicide rate we have in the UK this is not being held by people not been abroad to move from one property to another without getting stung by majorly high charges this is not right this does not help make people feel better about their circumstances Theresa May or somebody needs to step in and help

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Blog

We need to talk about short term lets

You’ve probably heard of Airbnb. But you might not have heard of Flipkey, HomeAway, HomeStay or Hostmaker. The concept stays the same - property owners rent out their house or flat for ‘short-term lets’, also known as holiday homes. They can be a great solution for covering your rent or mortgage bills for a few weeks whilst you’re away or utilising that spare room in your home.

But the problem is that local communities are finding more and more entire properties becoming permanent holiday homes. It’s eating up the market of houses that families can call home, and pushing up local rents.

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"My letting agent lied to me about the tenants fee ban"

By Samira* 

I’m currently looking for a new home. My flat is being sold and my current estate agents aren’t being as supportive as I hoped so I started casting my net wider - looking at properties with other agents.

I’d seen a house I really liked and was chatting through with the estate agent the next steps. That’s when I started to get suspicious: one estate agency said the ban on letting fees was “like Brexit” in that it was being continually pushed back and might not even happen. He told me I shouldn’t wait to sign after 1st June (when the ban comes into force) because the fees ban might not happen and by then I’d have missed out on some really great properties. I left that meeting feeling confused - was he right about the law?

I went to another agency who didn’t seem to know about the Tenant Fees Act at all and gave me the same advice “don’t wait for June 1st, the ban doesn’t exist”. Luckily, I’m not in a rush to move just yet but both agents ran and text me multiple times, pushing me to sign before June.

I was cautious, everyone I know who rents thought the ban was coming in on 1st June, but hearing two professionals deny it made me doubt myself.


So I did my research on the Parliament website and took a look at Generation Rent’s advice and I found out the ban is definitely coming into force on 1st June. It will mean that if you sign a contract after 1st June, your letting agent and landlord will only be able to take payments for:

  • Rent
  • Security deposit – capped at 5 weeks rent
  • Holding deposit – capped at 1 weeks rent
  • Early termination payment
  • Change of sharer fee (shouldn’t be more than £50)
  • Charge for lost keys or security device
  • Charge for interest on late rent payments


I’ve lost my faith in agents now. For someone to outright lie about a law they’re obliged to follow, in order to manipulate me into spending hundreds of fees, made me feel let down - house hunting has now become a chore and something I’m not excited about, purely based on how estate agents have made me feel, rather than based on the properties themselves.


The agents followed up with me, texting me 3 days in a row saying I could pay the fees over the phone as soon as I submitted an application. This also seemed kind of suspect, as usually, I’ve applied to properties then had to wait a few days for confirmation that I’m the selected tenant, at which point fees are paid to do referencing. I do wonder if they said I could pay as soon as I had applied, in order to ensure they get as many tenants into their properties before the ban comes in.


I’m so glad that I did my research - it’s likely that I saved myself £400 by not signing that contract - let alone all the future fees I could have been charged for.


If you’ve had an experience like mine then get in touch with Generation Rent. They are putting together a team of volunteers to mystery shop letting agents and make sure they are giving the right advice to tenants. I know not all letting agents are like this but we need to hold the bad ones to account.

To join the mystery shopping team at Generation Rent email georgie@generationrent.org, or join the whatsapp group.

You can also report agents that are misbehaving here

*Samira is a false name to protect the identity of this renter.

Revealed: unfair letting agent practices to watch out for

We're very grateful to Which?, the consumer rights organisation, for their latest investigation into letting agents. A mystery-shopping exercise, targeting 20 agents around the country, revealed practices that potentially breach the law: from denying would-be tenants the opportunity to review terms and conditions before putting down money, to opaque fees.

This piece of work is particularly useful because it gives tenants an idea of what bad practice to watch out for (and challenge) the next time you're trying to find a new home. Here's what they found...

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Tenancy reform and ending section 21: making this promise a reality

After the Government announced they will scrap section 21 'no fault' evictions and introduce open-ended tenancies, the End Unfair Evictions campaign coalition took a moment to celebrate. But the reality is that there is still much work to do. This sea change in tenancy law and renter rights will not happen straight away. First there will be a consultation (out 'shortly') on what the new open-ended tenancy model will look like, including legitimate possession grounds. Generation Rent will be talking to tenants, landlords and government to get the detail of the new tenancy right.

Once the consultation period closes, the government will have to confirm the design of the new tenancy and prepare a Bill to enact this in legislation. The earliest this legislation could be introduced into Parliament is likely Autumn. Although tenancy reform now has cross-party support, there’s the potential for this Bill to take some time to pass, especially given how much Parliamentary time Brexit needs. If the legislation is passed in 2020, it won’t be implemented immediately.

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Government will scrap Section 21 evictions in campaign victory for private renters

The Government will scrap section 21, ending ‘no fault’ evictions in England that have caused misery and hardship for millions of private renters and eroded our communities. This morning's announcement also said insecure fixed-term tenancies will go and a new, open-ended tenancy will be created.

IMG-20190413-WA0006.jpg

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“Deposit-free” products: definitely not free and less protection for renters.

“Deposit-free” schemes on the market can cost as much as £864 for a two year tenancy in non-refundable costs to tenants, new product analysis and cost comparison by Generation Rent shows. And if the landlord makes a claim for deductions at the end of the tenancy, that figure can rise much higher.

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Policing the letting fees ban - what we're up to

The ban on letting fees is coming – from 1 June, renters in England (including licensees and property guardians as well as tenants) will not have to pay fees for admin, references or inventory to move into a new home. Just the rent and refundable deposits.

This should have a huge impact – not only on renters’ finances, but on their relationship with the landlord and agent too. If the landlord isn’t fixing something or is asking for a higher rent, the tenant is in a stronger negotiating position because it is now cheaper for them to move out instead. Faced with the prospect of a tenantless property, the landlord is more likely to capitulate.

But letting agents are a crafty bunch – their ability to invent fees out of thin air is why we’ve got to this point. And many are willing to break the law – our research on lettingfees.co.uk found that 12% of agents weren’t publishing their fees, in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

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Older renters struggling with affordability, insecurity, and lack of agency

The demographics of renters has changed so much over the last decade that we could now pluralise our name to Generations Rent. We’re very much conscious of the trend of older people privately renting, which will continue for the foreseeable future, so we were pleased to be invited to speak at Age UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on ageing and older people which is holding an inquiry into older people’s housing. This session focused specifically on older tenants in the private rented sector and how housing impacts their physical, mental and social wellbeing. 

Generation Rent’s 2019 survey of private renters has just closed, so we crunched the responses and pulled out some findings specifically relating to older renters to share at the event. We received over a thousand survey responses in total, and 32% of responses were from tenants aged 55 or older, with 17.5% aged 65 or over.

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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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