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 2016-02-07 17:48:25 +0000
    Thanks, James, I genuinely appreciate your reply. I don’t claim to be an expert on shared ownership, but what I do know about it doesn’t convince me. I’ve seen examples where the other half of the partnership seems to act much as a stereotypical unscrupulous landlord would do, leaving the individual to pay for all maintenance, 100% of unexpected bills etc. I could go on, but the final issue would be; at what point would I get the option to buy the other part, and how would I afford it if I’d been paying part mortgage and part rent? I couldn’t afford to save anything under those circumstances so would have no lump sum, and with pay “rises” as they are, I’d not be able to significantly increase any mortgage, so would seem doomed to own part of such a property but never all. Maybe there is an answer, but it’s escaped me so far. I’ll keep researching…
    The reference to supermarkets was in reply to the suggestion along the lines that in my fantasy world, they should be nationalised too as food was as essential as accommodation, but I think that point may have been made by someone else, not yourself.
    Finally, paying rent to ANY profit making landlord, be it a private individual or a corporation such as you describe, is unacceptable to me. NPFs only, I’m afraid, with the profit going back into new property.
  • commented 2016-02-07 17:47:00 +0000
    Paul, thank you for your input. The reason this recent exchange started between FW and myself was that I posted a link to a blog that offers a plan to solve the housing crisis, which I thought may be of interest to visitors here. Alas FW does not seem to have read it but just posted a sarcastic remark back. The exchange between us has pushed the link well beyond this page but I shall offer it again. http://saynotogeorge.co.uk/how-to-solve-the-housing-crisis/. Government doesn’t seem to have a plan, which of course is indicative that they aren’t really that concerned. That in turn is supported by the fact that the housing minister isn’t even in the Cabinet, so you will perhaps appreciate how crucial housing is to them (not). Incidentally the Housing Minister (Brandon Lewis) comes out with some really unintelligent remarks such as comparing over-crowding on Big Brother to being like a British landlord, not mentioning of course that he is a landlord himself!

    As to the link re James Fraser and his experiences with informing tenants of rent rises, it may well be that you or anyone else here has not had such a letter. Often of course houses are managed by letting agents and sometimes they do not even inform the landlord that they ae imposing a rent increase, and indeed other charges. Full time professional landlords rarely increase rents on a tenant in situ. I actually had to learn the process of doing this with the rents I’m increasing as I had never done it before. I can also advise that I know literally hundreds of landlords and I’m proud to say that I actually know James and can call him a friend. He is one of the most caring people I have had the privilege to meet and if he says that’s what happened then I can assure you that it is.

    FW your comment re profiting in the long term on capital gains may well be true but in my experience that is not in most people’s minds when they get into the industry. Perhaps you would have held a different view in say, 2010 when house prices had dropped well below purchase price for many.

    You are of course entitled to your views on how letting should be managed, though it sounds quite extreme to me to have all houses let by the State, particularly at a time when they are doing their best to sell them off. We agree I think, that this is wrong. It seems then that you are in favour of the big institutions that are being given the go-ahead to build rental units, after of course making donations to the Conservative party. Lets see how it pans out but if you think they’re going to give you the same rent year after year like professional landlords do, then I think you will be mistaken.

    However you still do not offer a solution to the housing crisis, and nor do you answer my points about who is going to suffer through this taxation, how it is going to hurt low-paid families and their children and make their situation hopeless. Remember that councils are very aware of this problem coming and it is through taxation you support. In terms of unscrupulous landlords that are trying to ‘squeeze the blood’ out of their tenants I’ve also shown you that that is exactly what Osborne is proposing to do and you make no comment. Of course whilst he is saying that these families will have to pay ‘market rent’ he is also forcing up the market rents through taxation. Do you still support him with this attack?
  • commented 2016-02-07 17:28:09 +0000
    Well actually Foxwatcher, you’ve surprised me there. That was quite a reasonable answer and clearly with some thought-out political ideology behind it. I wouldn’t have a problem with the scenario you describe (if all forms of tenure were still legal etc) and of course some universities do or did exactly that – although have delegated much responsibility to the private sector recently. Why don’t councils/charities/HAs etc venture into short-term or voluntary private renting? It’s a genuine question. Councils can’t but charities could. I’ve often asked Shelter why they won’t invest their £51m/year income into housing the homeless but they are strangely disinterested. The whole reason private landlords exist – ever existed – is because such institutions wouldn’t or couldn’t provide on the necessary scale.

    I’m all for more building but I’m not sure existing big builders would be keen on losing their customers – look what happened to the share prices when Osborne announced clause 24.

    As for choice between supermarkets, you are free to look round a variety of private landlords – Im not sure I get the reference? Also, soon you’ll be able to choose to rent from a corporation, where your rent money will go directly into the pockets of… er… Big-business profiteers! Instead of those evil teachers, firemen, driving instructors etc…

    One other genuine query – doesn’t shared ownership work for you? There are routes into your own place without having to deal with either private landlords or ludicrous mortgage demands?
  • commented 2016-02-07 16:50:14 +0000
    James R and Paul, I think it’s all posts today that you’d expect to go on to page 2 that are disappearing. Maybe they’ll be back tomorrow? I thought I’d answered that question, James. I have no problem with rental properties as such. There need to be many, for many different and good reasons, and short term temporary relocation such as you describe is one. But the owners should NOT be private individuals, nor any profit making firm or association. Let’s refer to my preferred owners as NPFs (Non-Profit Firms) and they could include, but not be restricted to, local councils, housing associations, charities, national governmental departments, universities, maybe some large multi national companies who need to move staff internationally (but that needs a bit of thought) and similar bodies. They should be properly and strongly regulated to provide the quality you describe. But any/all profits after maintenance and running costs from either rental income, or more likely capital appreciation, should be used by the NPFs to build new properties within their catchment area. This money should not go to private individuals to fund their lifestyle or retirement. This would continue the funding for the building industry and contribute to the economy, but would stop BTLs buying properties for their own gain and continually denying younger people the opportunity to buy their own home.
    Likewise, I have no issue with pension funds etc. making money from the building sector. That’s what capitalism should be about, benefitting those who contribute. I do have a problem with one individual taking rental income to profit from the capital gain on a property. It’s selfish and greedy. You wouldn’t, presumably, mug a pensioner at a cashpoint to finance an evening out – why do essentially the same to the younger generation where they live?
    Classic cars and other investments are different – I don’t have to have a Bugatti so can choose to ignore that market, but I do need to live somewhere, and why should a private landlord profit from that? Likewise, I can choose which supermarket to shop at, or use a food bank maybe, so that’s not a correct comparison.
    I hope that answers your two simple questions.
  • commented 2016-02-07 15:51:32 +0000
    It seems it’s my comments that have mysteriously disappeared.

    Fox Watcher, one thing we genuinely agree on is landlord quality. Some ARE shockingly bad and I hate those people as much as you do. Higher quality and lower rents are precisely what the good or professional landlords seek to provide. Standards must be higher and vigorously enforced.

    But to both you and PT, who want the immediate end of private rented property, Im still seeking answers to my two reasonable points. Where do the shorter-term renters who choose that option go? Where would you house me on my 1-year contract 200 miles from home – presumably you’ve thought about it? And how is it possible for landlords to buy every new build whilst simultaneously not contributing to the economy?!
    Also, why should it be mandatory in your eyes to have a pension that profits long term through company speculation, including builders and banks (and rentiers like British Land and Land Securities) but not one that profits long term as an individual investment? It’s ok if I make £50k over 10 years on a classic car or a painting, but not if I provide someone a quality home that they want and love?
  • commented 2016-02-07 14:56:05 +0000
    I notice that some comments are disappearing from this forum after a few minutes. Is this because of moderation or is this site buggy?

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Proof that millions of renters are failed by unfair rental laws

The latest English Housing Survey was out last week, and the results are further evidence for what we’ve been arguing for years: England’s rental laws are making life insecure and expensive for growing numbers of people.  

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Four early victories for the End Unfair Evictions campaign

It is less than a month since we launched our joint campaign - with ACORN, the New Economics Foundation and the London Renters Union - to end section 21 no-fault evictions, and we've already had some major successes. 

Here are four things we can celebrate already.

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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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