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 2018-05-22 22:32:29 +0100
    Kevin Dray

    I don’t follow where you are getting from my comment that I am saying 1 is a greater number than 5.

    But you’re missing the point, it’s not about how fantastic some landlords are, or about how terrible some tenants are, or whether good landlords are something that is needed. I’m just trying to point out that in the landlord-tenant relationship, tenants currently seem to have most to lose and least protection. The fact that some landlords aren’t good landlords is good justification to increase those protections.

    From the landlord’s perspective, a bad tenant, who doesn’t pay rent and who damages the property can be evicted quite quickly. Insurance pays for the repairs, and I’ve seen many letting agents even advertise that they will cover the rent if the tenants disappear. The landlord may still have out of pocket costs for some things and see their premiums rise but at the end of the day all it is is a bit of a headache and a lost opportunity for some extra income.

    From the tenant’s perspective, a bad landlord can evict them with two month’s notice at any time for no reason at all. Two months may seem like a lot of notice but you try continuing without impacting on work/studies/looking after your family when you’ve suddenly got two months to find somewhere else to live and move. There’s no guarantee you can find somewhere within budget within reasonable commuting distance from work or from your kid’s school so you may have to find a new job or move your kid to a different school. Then there are the costs associated with moving, you have to fork out for letting agents fees yet again, pay another deposit, pay a removal company, have mail redirected etc.

    This is all if a landlord is a bit on the cruel side but still stays within the law, however tenants can be put under pressure by a bad landlord to do things the law doesn’t require of them, such as to move out even sooner than the two month notice period. I’ve known of landlords threatening to withhold the deposit (a spurious reason to withhold it can always be found) or to give a bad reference, making it difficult for the tenant to find somewhere else to live, and thus forcing the tenant to do as they wish.

    None of this necessarily applies to you, but as things stand it’s very much luck of draw as to what kind of landlord you get and it isn’t unreasonable to ask the government to do more to ensure tenants have adequate protection, but you seem to be taking that desire as an affront to your own honour, like the fact you are a good landlord should mean you don’t require governmental oversight.
  • commented 2018-05-22 17:20:12 +0100
    David Morton
    So its Ok for a Limited Company to offset interest costs on borrowing as an expense,but not a Private landlord ?
    Change the goal posts for one,but not the other.
    Very Unfair,but good for the governments corporate chums.
    When PL are eventually forced out and they have control
    Boy,will you see increases!
  • commented 2018-05-22 16:13:54 +0100
    Dear Kevin Dray , whilst I have sympathy with someone who is a good private landlord the truth is the system has been rigged for so long in favour of those who have pursued Buy to let interest only and the small landlord business / investment model and against people at the bottom of society that something has to give. I run a pub and have found from 2000 onwards getting finance for business investment was and continues to be very difficult when returns on BTL and property are guaranteed by the system as long as you have money you can get money and property continues to hoover up the majority of finance. How many BTL landlords are sitting on properties that they could not possibly have bought without the constant ladder of rising house prices and interest only loans ? . Its a giant Ponzi scheme . When investment in property , land and money is more valuable than investment in people energy and enterprise we are on the road to hell. People at the bottom are propping up the profit, living standards and future pensions of people like yourself although I realise you have only played the game by the rules in place . However those rules need to change . Its grossly unfair and economically illiterate. The only thing I would say is if we collapse all the private landlords as well , banks will fail again and that will again serve no-one. We are all stuck in a bind . The only lifeboat available is the slow but sure increase in social housing with affordable rent controls and the slow but sure removal of BTL and interest only as a means of making profit . My only coda to that is people like yourself need to be given time to change direction but we cannot continue as we are . There needs to be rent control , land and wealth taxes introduced , legislation against land banking and a shift towards the kind of society that invest in its people not bricks and money.
  • commented 2018-05-22 15:17:55 +0100
    Will McAllister.
    With all due respect.
    You say 1 is a larger number than 5.
    Err No.
    Why are a growing number of councils screaming out to Private Landlords for help,ask Croydon.
    Simple, A Supply and Demand failure
    Some are being housed in Berni Inns, and this will now get far worse.
    Regulation and protection has to work and be fair both ways,to tenant and landlord.
    A register for all.
    If that means rent caps and longer agreements,that’s fine by me.
  • commented 2018-05-22 15:03:24 +0100
    Fox watcher.
    No,I don’t agree,Private Landlords should be seen as part of the solution,not the problem,not everyone wants to buy as renting is more flexible. Decent ones provide can provide a service to decent tenants its plug the gap.
    Its only minor compared to the whole problem,which is the total lack of housing through government failures to build enough.
  • commented 2018-05-22 14:48:18 +0100
    Kevin Dray, with all due respect, problem landlords have a much greater impact on the lives of their tenants than problem tenants do on their landlords. A problem tenant can leave a landlord out of pocket, a problem landlord can leave a tenant homeless or forced to move far away from where they work and facing the considerable expense of finding another home, and yet landlords currently enjoy far greater protections than tenants do, as successive governments feel those who own the property deserve far greater rights over it than those who live in it.

    You may feel that calls for greater regulation of landlords are unfairly punishing you, someone who plays by the rules, but tenants who have experienced decades of uncertainty over where and how they will live and how much it will cost don’t want to just place their trust that their new landlord is one of the good ones, and sometimes a landlord who can seem good can suddenly change their tune if a problem with the property is reported, or if they have the opportunity to increase their income from the property. So tenants want to know that if things between them and their landlord do deteriorate, then they will be protected.

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Blog

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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Britain’s biggest landlords have decided to cash-in their portfolio. But not without evicting hundreds of families from their homes.

Fergus and Judith Wilson own over 700 properties. They are among Britain’s biggest private landlords, owning entire streets in some parts of Kent. Ever since their decision, in 2014, to evict all tenants on housing benefits - even those who had never been in arrears on their rent - their names have been synonymous with controversy.

Now, the Wilsons have decided to cash in on their estimated £250m property portfolio, to settle down and “take life easy”. They reckon that it’s  easier and more profitable for landlords to sell properties without tenants in-situ. So the Wilson’s have started the process of evicting their tenants in preparation for the sale.

Almost all the couples’ properties are two or three bedroom new builds, and many are home to young families. By law, the Wilsons only have to give the tenants two months’ notice of eviction. Some might manage to find new homes in this time. But many landlords are notoriously unwilling to offer tenancies to families on low incomes, meaning the most vulnerable will struggle. The chances of so many people finding suitable new homes are slim. Still less, homes nearby their employers, schools and support networks. Many must fear homelessness, and could be forced to turn to an already stretched council for support.

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Three wins on ending discrimination

There’s been some good news this month for people facing discrimination in the private rental market – because of how they pay their rent, or because of who they are.

Buy-to-let mortgage conditions

First, Natwest announced that it would lift “all restrictions on landlords renting to tenants who are in receipt of housing benefits”.

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The English Private Landlord Survey 2018

Happy tenants. Happy landlords. Longer tenancies and no unfair evictions. It’s all possible! 

The 2018 English Private Landlords Survey (EPLS) – the first since 2010 – demonstrates that much-needed changes to the private rented sector, specifically to renter security, would have little or no effects on most landlords. The current system of rules reflects the interests and opinions of a small minority of landlords at the great expense of tenants who deserve better.

The EPLS surveyed 8000 landlords and letting agents and its findings were published last month. The questionnaire covered three main topics: landlord characteristics; their attitudes and behaviours; and, importantly, the future of the private rented sector.

What are some of the key findings and what do they mean for renter security?

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Market solutions for affordable housing aren't working in London. It's time to look at rent control.

So Sadiq Khan has announced that he will develop a model of rent control for London. It’s a bold move for the Mayor of London and just opening up this conversation shows the extent of the affordability crisis affecting 2.4 million private renters in the city.

London’s rents are absurdly high, eating up ever higher proportions of people’s incomes as the last decade has seen wages stagnating while rents rose. The internationally accepted figure of rent affordability is 30% of income, yet there are only two boroughs in London where average rents are (just) less than 50% of a low-income worker’s wage. Even for private renters in middle and some high wage jobs, the dreaded annual rent rise can force you out of your home and your community, or reduce your savings pushing you further away from homeownership. High rents entrench private renters in financial precarity and erode our communities.

Market solutions to make housing affordable in London aren’t working in London. We’ve all been talking about the building more homes for years, but it just isn’t happening at the scale or speed needed to bring down rents. The economic uncertainty as a result of Brexit isn’t helping the housebuilding industry. It’s time to start looking for other answers.

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Parliament abolishes £410m-a-year scam

The House of Commons has read letting agent fees their last rites! This afternoon MPs voted to approve the final version of the Tenant Fees Bill signed off last week by the House of Lords.

From 1 June, private renters moving home will no longer have to pay fees to start a new tenancy in England. Agents will only be able to ask for rent, and refundable holding and security deposits (capped at 1 week’s rent and 5 weeks’ rent respectively). The only exemptions are fees to cover the cost of lost keys, late rent payments, changing the name on a tenancy or ending a tenancy early.

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The lexical challenge of building more affordable homes

At the launch of the Affordable Housing Commission in October, the chair, Lord Best, a veteran of august commissions spanning the past 30 years, related an experience he’d had with one that was looking at The Future of the Family.

More than halfway into the process, its chair came to meet its sponsor (then plain old Richard Best) and admitted that they were a little behind schedule. They hadn’t managed to agree on a definition of “family”.

From the off, members of the commission – of which I am honoured to be one – are therefore highly conscious of the need to get the basics right. But not only do we need to know what “affordable” means (already the subject of much controversy in the housing world), but I think we also need to define “home”.

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2018 takes renters closer to a fairer housing market

It's our End Of Year round-up! 2018 has been an exciting year for the campaign. Through our work - with activists, renter unions and other groups - we are closer to a safer, fairer and more secure private rental market.

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