In an effort to increase transparency and help Irish voters make an informed decision in tomorrow's general election, we have contacted all election candidates and asked them to say where they stand on a range of issues, including rent control. All candidates’ answers (or the answers provided by their party in some cases) are publicly available on the website www.whichcandidate.ie. Voters can also answer the questions and see which candidates they agree with in their constituency.
We asked candidates whether there should be tighter controls on rent, and candidates are almost evenly split on this question. 43% (188 candidates) said that rent increases should be capped in line with inflation; while 44% (193 candidates) said that current controls on rent were adequate. (The remaining 13% of candidates were either opposed to any controls on rent, or selected none of these options.)
If you happen to be planning a move to (or within) the London boroughs of Croydon, Ealing, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest, then we might be able to save you a few hundred quid.
Volunteers in these areas have compiled a comprehensive list of local letting agents and their tenant fees at www.lettingfees.co.uk.
Tower Hamlets Renters have used their research to name and shame local agents
A flurry of news reports in the past week have told many of us what we're already thinking: more private renters are facing a lifetime of renting.
First, the Resolution Foundation said that, in ten years' time, 90% of under-35s on modest incomes will be renting for life.
Then, PwC said 40% of Londoners will be renting from a private landlord by 2025.
And today, the government-commissioned English Housing Survey found that 57% of private renters expect to buy their home - down from 61% in the previous year's report.
The Renting Homes Act for Wales passed through the Assembly at the end of 2015, but the end result was quite different from the initial Bill.
The Welsh Assembly has 60 Assembly Members (AMs) but the Welsh Labour Government only holds 30 of those seats. That means that every Bill has to have approval from one of the opposition parties – Plaid or the Lib Dems– or it won’t go through.
Renters never really know where they'll live in 12 months' time. Even if your landlord is a charity, charging reasonable rent and letting you turn their property into a home, they could quietly sell up to a landlord who will just evict you and sell your home to the highest bidder.
When we launched Vote Homes we called on the candidates to take action on rents, housebuilding, security and conditions.
But we also asked for something a bit more fundamental: for the next Mayor to commit to meeting regularly with renters groups.
If you ever wonder why we as a nation are "obsessed" with home ownership when people happily rent for life in Germany and the Netherlands, consider the number of ways you can lose your home as a renter.
Even if you pay the rent on time, take care of the property, and learn your neighbours' names, you can be forced to move if the landlord decides to sell up, raise the rent to a level you can't afford, or just doesn't renew the tenancy.
A new poll from BMG finds that 27% of current and former private renters have experienced an unwanted move.
LONDON NEEDS A MAYOR FOR RENTERS
Today, with 100 days to the London Mayoral election, we have launched www.votehomes2016.com, as the place to go if you want to know who is promising what to fix the city's housing crisis.
This morning, the local community in Herne Hill stopped bailiffs from evicting a 69-year-old private tenant from her home of seven years.
Her landlord, Manaquel, served her with a no-fault eviction notice which gave her no option but to move out or sit and wait to be forced out by the bailiffs.
After a notice to quit, a possession order, and a warrant from the court, the bailiffs arrived today at 9:30 to be met by 20 neighbours and local campaigners who sent them on their way.
Earlier this week we launched .
Achieving this is going to entail hacking through a thicket of special interests. Where it’s not the landlord replacing tenants every six months, it’s letting agents who want their annual renewal fee, or mortgage lenders demanding easy access to the property if the landlord does a runner.
Even deposit protection schemes - government-licensed organisations which supposedly exist to protect tenants - are throwing up roadblocks to reform by spreading misinformation.