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 2015-05-07 19:10:23 +0100
    I was sorry to read the stories of Paul and Anne. But the answer is simple. Ban private landlords by taxing them so it becomes financially impossible for them to exist, sell all their housing to the existing occupiers, or to local authorities or establishments such as universities where appropriate, and put legislation in place to ensure that they rent in a fair and proper manner. Private landlords are the root of 99% of these issues, whether it’s because they are poor landlords with no sense of responsibility, or whether they are just plain greedy.
  • commented 2015-05-07 12:42:26 +0100
    My daughter and her partner have just learned, without any warning, that their landlord intends to sell the house. This will be the third time in six years they have been forced to move.

    Here is a reply from Alan Duncan MP to my Generation Rent’s “Please stand up for renters by supporting rent control” email:
    ……….

    “Rent controls never work – they destroy investment in housing leading to fewer homes to rent and poorer quality accommodation. Last time they were used in the UK they led to a collapse in the size of the private rented sector.

    The only way to have affordable rents is to build more homes. That is why we are investing £400 million in building 10,000 new homes that will be let out below market rent to help people save up for a deposit and buy their own home. We are also able to offer guarantees to housing providers and investors, enabling them to borrow at cheaper rates and build tens of thousands of new homes, including 30,000 new affordable homes through the Affordable Housing Guarantee scheme. Thanks to our long-term economic plan house building is now at its highest level since 2007.

    We want to see a private rented sector that is more transparent, gives greater certainty to hardworking families, especially those with children of school age, and which delivers higher standards and more affordable rents.

    · Rent controls in the UK reduced private rented housing stock. Rent controls resulted in the size of the private rented sector shrinking from 55 per cent of households in 1939 to just 8 per cent in the late 1980s. Rent controls also meant that many landlords could not afford to improve or maintain their homes.

    · The Institute of Economic Affairs has said rent controls will lead to higher rents. They have said that ‘sincerents can alter between tenancies, tenancy rent controls cannot improve affordability for any group other than in the very short term. It is most likely to simply change the timing of rent costs over a tenancy by raising initial rents. Indeed the existence of these [rent] controls may even increase market rents overall’.

    · The OECD says that rent controls push down housing supply. The OECD have made clear that rent controlsreduce the supply of rented housing, saying that ‘easing the relatively strict rent controls and tenant-landlord regulations that are found in some Nordic and continental European countries could significantly increase residential mobility by improving the supply of rental housing and preventing the locking-in of tenants’.

    · Since 2010 average rents in England have fallen in real terms. According to the latest ONS figures, in the period May 2010 to December 2014 average rents in England fell by 1.3 per cent in real terms (Hansard, 2 February 2015, Col. 222996, link).

    · Building more homes to rent. Through the Build to Rent Fund we are providing finance, along with private sector investment, to build new purpose-built privately rented homes. 14 contracts have already been signed which are worth £230 million and will deliver over 3,000 homes to rent. When all agreements are finalised during 2015 £1 billion of investment will be provided which will deliver 10,000 new homes to rent. We have also used the government’s hard-won fiscal credibility to offer guarantees to housing providers and investors, enabling them to borrow at cheaper rates and build tens of thousands of new homes, including 30,000 new affordable homes through the Affordable Housing Guarantee scheme.

    · Labour’s plans for more regulation and rent controls would make life harder for tenants. Labour’s plans forrent controls, banning letting agents’ fees for tenants, and blanket local and national landlord licensing schemes would lead to higher rents as landlords pass on extra costs to tenants. It would also undermine investment in housing making it harder for people to find a good quality, safe and affordable home to rent. Ultimately a reduced supply of rental homes will mean higher rents and less choice for tenants."

    Regards

    Alan Duncan
  • commented 2015-05-07 08:46:57 +0100
    My grandchildren live in Southgate, London. They are again set to move at the end of this month; fourth time in 6 years. I am kind of happy they are moving from The house they are currently because there was a fire start from the electrical terminal and luckily my grandson, 8 years, noticed the smoke coming from the under stair cupboard! That was a year ago and I have been worried ever since because the electrics are dodgy. The current landlord has warned that come the 1st June the builders will be in and the roof off – intimidation or what. Shame on him and he has children himself. My daughter tells me the rents have increased by about 20% in the last 18 months. So, finding somewhere in the local vicinity will prove to be difficult. She has to date not found another place.
    The other thing is, their father also lives in rented housing and he has also had to move within the last year. So, really, the children have moved at least 7 times within the last 6 years.
    I try to remain positive and class each new move as an adventure and pose it as thus to the children. Inside, I feel distraught for my grandchildren and their parents. Both their parents are hard working and loving and I feel sure this love helps to sustain them.
  • commented 2015-04-16 02:50:53 +0100
    Sue Cole’s housing problem is not at all unusual. Contrary to popular demonisation, not everyone over 50 is either a rich home owner or a smugly secure council tenant. In middle age and older, people frequently need to find somewhere to live, often in a different area. Her sense of betrayal is well justified and understandable after playing by the rules, paying in to the public kitty during a lifetime of asking for nothing.

    Sue is typical because she returns to her home town and is treated worse than a new immigrant, who does not need to pass the five year test she faces. She must prove she has lived without straying outside the boundary lines of that single council, even to put her name on the waiting list. (Normally, in any case, waiting lists are long enough that she would need to be, perhaps, 150 years old before her name reaches the top, if ever)

    She is also treated worse than a feckless breeder, who is also exempt , and is treated worse than any woman who can play the system and leap the housing list by fiddling the domestic violence short cut. She will never get even the notoriously dire but at least assured safety net of hostel places, because they are provided for women with children. It is harsh to find all resources and help are for those who have not paid in, with nothing for those who have, for half a century or more, only to be denied, derided and labelled “burden”.

    Sue and thousands like her find their existence denied or ignored by the constant use of the word “young” in every housing context. Is it not a truth universally assumed, that anyone over 40 ought to go sleep in a field? (Or else just die, and hurry up about it, to get out of the way of the Entitled Young!)

    Sue finds she cannot pay rent without continuing to work till she drops, but paradoxically she is luckier than most who have reached retirement age. If she had taken retirement, no agent would allow her to apply for any tenancy. The first and main demand from potential landlords for virtually all properties is that the applicant Must Be Currently Employed. (“No DSS”, as they express it) Like the 90 year old’s living in the Bournemouth bus shelter, and the other old couple who jumped to their deaths, retired people everywhere are turned away by private landlords and by local councils. The help to buy is exclusively for young employed, so is the “free” deposit scheme, and nobody over 50 is eligible for a mortgage. So, they cannot rent, cannot access social housing, and cannot buy. Hence the bus shelter and hence the suicide.

    This site is typical in hosting hostility in ageist comments on the boards. (“Selfish” older people are selfishly occupying larger homes than they need, or else are “selfishly” not doing so, but instead are selfishly downsizing which selfishly deprives some Entitled Young people of the starter homes which are theirs By Right. Some are “selfishly” funding their retirement years with money which rightfully belongs to their Entitled Offspring. Some are selfishly refusing to lock themselves away out of sight in some kind of cut price prison cell segregated over-50’s ghetto accommodation, which is good enough for the likes of them, as they dawdle over their task of getting dead. This is the tenor and gist of the age-hate and contempt on this site, which is not challenged, or banned as it would be if racist or homophobic.

    Such age-hate prejudice causes middle aged and older people to have greater housing difficulty than younger people. Over 50’s or even over 40’s are openly barred in flat share adverts , and they cannot ask or expect the same willingness from others, to permit sofa surfing, which younger people take for granted.

    Even the housing organisations obsessively repeat the word “young”, in every discussion of housing. This allows politicians and lazy journalists to do the same, so in turn the general public make the assumptions that housing need is exclusively for The Young, and that “The Elderly” have more housing than they deserve, which means they are to blame for everything.
  • commented 2015-04-15 20:40:09 +0100
    I am 60 moved back to se after my divorce and was told I need to be living in borough for 5 years before I can even put my name down for housing. I have since age of 18 paid my taxes and was born here. I feel betrayed that I have reached 60 and can’t even think about retiring, to survive I will need to work as long as I can. I have never taken any benefits , even felt guilty applying for my Boris travel card . What has one to do to be given help……
  • commented 2015-04-15 11:02:40 +0100
    I’ve had the chance to think more about my reply to Stephen yesterday. Firstly, I’ve checked and I stand by my original view that prices of buy to let properties have risen by 1400% since 1997. Some landlords are now selling to take profit, and the buyers are frequently more landlords eager to make the same profits. Taxing capital profit at 95%+ will stop this. Secondly, regarding pensioners selling, downsizing and funding comfortable retirements – it’s a much muddier issue, but anyone getting onto the housing ladder when young will eventually end up with a much appreciated asset which they own outright. The important thing is that they’ll then have somewhere to live without further outgoings at a time when they presumably have reduced income. But they eventually have to do something with it. If subject to punitive tax on the profit, they’ll just sit on it despite it perhaps being too big or expensive for them to maintain, and cause a blockage in the natural cycle of others upsizing. So I’m against charging this level of tax on profit on owner occupiers’ primary residences. If they do sell and downsize, they free up property for younger larger families to move into. If they then spend the profit rather than leaving it to their families, they have at least earned the money they paid, not leeched it from the pockets of the younger generation denying them the opportunity to advance their own lives. So sorry, Stephen, my original point stands. Tax profiteering landlords out of the market.

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Blog

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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Giving people the right to a safe home

This week saw the introduction of Karen Buck MP's Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill, a private member's bill which will now have its second reading in parliament on Friday 19 January 2018.

The bill seeks to update the law requiring rented homes to be presented and maintained in a state fit for human habitation - updated because the current law only requires this of homes with a rent of up to £80 per year in London, and £52 elsewhere!

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National study finds tenants optimistic but rental market oppressive

Every year the government runs the English Housing Survey. General findings are published in February, then, to the delight of housing geeks, the juicy detail on the different subsections of the market arrives in July. We've taken a look at the findings for 2015-16, published last week.

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