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 2015-10-08 14:13:34 +0100
    Stephen, I don’t work for GR, and actually have no particular interest one way or another in the welfare or living conditions of those who choose to rent. Neither do I much care if you are a “good” landlord or one who doesn’t care a jot, and who, like one of the James’, seems to be looking forward to evicting one of his less welcome tenants when he has to sell one of his properties because he is going to be taxed fairly. I have sympathy with those who are forced to rent, but that is not my argument here. I am totally and wholly against people such as yourself and the two James’ who buy property which would otherwise be in the purview of young first time owner/occupiers. BTL parasites can get fat mortgages with ease because they have other property against which they use as collateral, they then get the mortgages paid for by the rent of those who are forced (not those who choose) to rent from them, and eventually sell the property for an obscene profit on which they can then finance their lifestyle or retirement. I’m sure some may not actually cream off huge profits whilst they are renting, but the endgame is all about forcing the less fortunate to finance your eventual capital profit. It’s a disgrace that it is legal, and I hope that the small measures currently being taken, which seem to cause so much consternation, but will only result in rents being raised to cover BTL costs, are drastically enhanced so that Britain once more becomes somewhere people can aspire to own one property in which to live and raise their family, and aspire to leave it to their own kids. Get a conscience, and stop trying to justify your selfish actions as if you’re providing a service to others. If you hadn’t bought the houses from under them in the first place, there would be no necessity to provide this fictitious service, and organisations who use any profit to build more housing could fill the gap rather than profiteering leeches.
  • commented 2015-10-08 12:38:04 +0100
    Foxwatcher you have given no credible arguments to support your position. What arguments you have put forward are without foundation and have done nothing but damage any credibility Generation Rent had left after their chief jumped ship just before Nationwide pulled all it’s funding (FYI Nationwide are one of the biggest BTL mortgage providers).
    I’m not sure if you work for GR and think you are campaigning for tenants rights but you are not, your comments do nothing but damage the future of the very people you purport to be campaigning for.
  • commented 2015-10-07 18:58:08 +0100
    That’s fine Foxwatcher but I do find it interesting that you take offence at being called a liar (your word not mine) when you accused me of offering false data in the example I have submitted to GR. Clearly double standards I’d suggest. I’ve even offered to meet with you and show you how the finance works but you’ve not even shown the slightest interest. You keep going on about the greed of landlords and refuse to actually look at the numbers. You have a bee in your bonnet about landlords supplying accommodation to those that want it but don’t have an issue with the supply of other essential needs. More double standards. Open your mind to these points and open your mind to the true finances of the industry, and lastly definitely open your mind to what the tax change will do because whatever you think, it’ll make things so much worse for FTB’s for many years to come.
  • commented 2015-10-07 18:44:55 +0100
    Just for the avoidance of doubt, all three of you are sticking your heads in the sand about the consequences of you, and all other private landlords, buying up entry level properties. You are hiding behind any convenient fabricated argument, but plain common sense says I’m right, never mind my own personal observations and experiences. I had friends who also have “property portfolios”. They also hide behind pathetic excuses and don’t use common sense, which is why they are ex friends. I don’t mind trying to persuade people in denial such as yourselves, but am not going to be called a liar or sworn at by the 2 James’. This is why I am not continuing this discussion, not because you have in any way persuaded me. You are selfish, greedy grasping people, even if you are sensible enough to realise that being “good” landlords means your cash cows are easier to maintain. I shall not be responding to any further posts on this subject at this time.
  • commented 2015-10-07 16:28:54 +0100
    Good points well made Stephen. FW may be interested to know that a Freedom of Information request was made to HMRC to know what studies had been done in terms of how many FTB’s have been kept out of the market by landlords and the response was there was no information available. In other words there has been no study done. Until a sensible and serious offering of credible data is put forward nobody really knows how big the problem is or even if there really is one at all. Sure there’s a lot of hype and media stating this (particularly from the owners of this site and say, The Guardian) but you can only make sensible decisions on sound data. For example, the Government might say (have said) that they are going to build masses of starter homes. How many is masses because what it means to you may be completely different to what it means to me. And if you don’t know how many you’re going to build then you don’t know what it is going to cost. And you don’t know how many you need to build without that sound data. It’s all smoke and mirrors without the numbers and that, I’m afraid, is where many people want to keep the issue. If numbers aren’t going to help the ‘cause’ then they won’t be published. I note that GR have changed from saying rents going up is ‘nonsense because rents are as high as they can be’ to acknowledging that rent increases are being ‘mumbled’ about in landlords groups and are clearly so worried that they have produced their video suggesting ways to negotiate against them (pointless as they’re being forced by George Osborne) and the change in their approach is, I’m sure, because they now understand the finance issues around doing this. They’ve seen the numbers! So, if the ‘issue’ of landlords allegedly keeping FTB’s out of the market is to hold water then we need those numbers. Maybe FW will be astounded at how low they are, maybe we’ll be astounded at high they are! However there are so many other things to take into account in that the world today is not the same as it was 5, 10 or 20 years ago. People’s expectations are rightly or wrongly, considerably higher. I know landlords that struggle to get paid their rents (even though they are actually housing benefit). Instead the tenant splashes out on Sky, Iphone 6’s, beer and fags and the list goes on. 20 years ago people had more respect for the roof over their heads. If FTB’s want to save for a deposit they will have to make sacrifices. Some will save enough, some won’t, as was ever the case. James Roberts makes good points as do you in that a lot of people don’t want to buy. I’ve had families that could buy but don’t want to for a variety of reasons. The reasons make sense to them but perhaps they wouldn’t to us. It’s personal choice, so what are the numbers that apply to FTB’s and how many of them could buy a home and would buy a home if it meant the sacrifices?
  • commented 2015-10-07 16:03:10 +0100
    Foxwatcher, I don’t think I did miss-understand your issue which is that there are not enough affordable properties for FTB’s which you believe is the sole fault of BTL landlords. It is insulting of you to paint all BTL landlords as greedy parasites feeding off the misfortune of a generation of young people who cant afford to buy their own property. The point I was making is that not all tenants want to buy a home and rely on the PRS for a decent rental home. Most landlords are not ripping tenants off and provide a good and much needed service.

    In my area FTB’s want two bed ‘starter’ homes and it is their demand for these which drives the price way above what a BTL landlord would pay due to the low return which in turn is governed by the rent achievable, as a consequence there is a shortage of two bed accommodation available to rent. On the other side one bed ‘Starter’ homes are bought by BTL landlords because FTB’s are not interested, and yes I sold one recently and not one FTB came to see it. Three and four bed homes are generally upsizing and therefore second or third purchases.

    On the subject of mortgages, a BTL landlord would need a minimum of 25-30% deposit and guaranteed rental income of 125% of the monthly rental, a FTB can in some cases get a 95%-100% mortgage, and can borrow four to five times combined salary, and help with the deposit from the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. I accept that in London in particular this may not be enough for FTB’s to get on the property ladder but when it comes to property London is an entirely different ‘country’ and should not be used to tar the rest of the country with the same brush.

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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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Six reasons why today’s renters pay more than previous generations

The harsh reality of the UK’s sometimes savage housing market is that more people are renting their homes until later in life but paying more for the privilege of doing so than their parents did.

In England the number of private renters has increased from two million to 4.5 million between 1999 and 2015 while renting a home has been eating up a steadily increasing proportion of renters’ income, rising from 8% during the late 1960s to over 27% today, on average. Here we look at the key trends driving up rents across the nation in recent years.

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Landlord tax evasion - what do we know?

A few weeks ago, the London Borough of Newham revealed that 13,000 local landlords had failed to declare their rental income, prompting estimates that £200m of tax was being evaded in London alone.

Today, Parliament has published an answer from the Treasury Minister Mel Stride to Frank Field, who asked what assessment the government had made of this. The Minister directed him (and us) to this information on tax gaps (pp54-5).

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MPs debate letting fee ban

The ban on letting fees is currently the government's flagship policy to help renters, and we're currently waiting for a draft bill to be published, which follows a consultation that we and hundreds of our supporters responded to.

In the meantime, MPs gave us a taste of how the legislation will proceed in Parliament yesterday morning by debating the subject for the first time since last year's Autumn Statement.

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London Housing - a new opportunity to push for greater security

Delayed from August, this week saw the publication of the London Mayor's draft housing strategy, which is now open for consultation for three months.

Covering all housing policy from leasehold reform to tackling street homelessness, the strategy also has a specific section devoted to the private rented sector. With a quarter of London's children in the private rented sector, and millions of renters living in poverty, we all know how urgently action is needed.

We'll be coming back to parts of the strategy in the coming weeks, but here we just focus on the main headlines for renters.

The strategy builds on the Mayor's manifest commitment and previous public statements, and although the Mayor lacks the powers to fundamentally transform London's PRS, there are nonetheless some steps forward and potential to go further.

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The Other Waitrose Effect - the hidden costs of gentrification

Is a new Waitrose in your neighbourhood a cause for excitement, or a troubling omen for your future in the area? 

A new study reveals that the high-end supermarket is linked with rising evictions of private tenants in areas they open up in.

The analysis, conducted by Oxford University academic David Adler for Generation Rent, found that the arrival of a new store was associated with an increase in the number of evictions of between 25% and 50%.

Waitrose.jpg

Great cheese selection, but will you be around to enjoy it?

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