Private renters to get Right to Buy
The Conservatives' controversial Right to Buy policy will be extended to private renters, according to leaked plans from the Tory manifesto. That means private renters will have the right to buy their own home after living there for five years.
This is a big move from the Conservatives, who have been scrambling around for a vote-winning policy that will help the thwarted first-time buyer, with Help to Buy loans, Rent to Buy, and the latest Help to Buy ISA. But this policy - a reboot of the popular sell-off of council homes in the 80s - actually takes on the landlords.
The Government's record on private renting
As Parliament dissolves today and purdah begins, we’ve taken a look at everything the Government has, and hasn’t, done for renters.
The Cost of a First Time Home keeps rising
The latest House Price Index was released today and once again shows how first time buyers are being screwed over by the market.
House price inflation was up over this time last year, by 8.4%, although it was slightly down from last month (by a tiny 0.2%). One of the real worries is that for first time buyers, prices were 9.7% higher on average this January compared to last January – and 0.7% up on the month.
George Osborne pledges right to sub-let
Amid the fanfare of the Help to Buy ISA in last week's Budget, the Chancellor made another, quieter move to help renters. George Osborne pledged to legislate to stop tenants automatically being banned in their contracts from sub-letting space in their home on a short-term basis.
This move follows changes in the Deregulation Bill to allow Londoners to rent out their homes for short periods without needing planning permission - previously anyone in the capital advertising holiday lets on sites such as Airbnb was breaking the law.
Budget 2015: what does it deliver for renters?
In short, not much. It took 40 minutes for the first mention of housing, behind an announcement of £1million to celebrate the 600 year anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt no less. As well as expected announcements on funding for a London land commission to address ‘the acute housing crisis’ and the 20 housing zones due to be launched to boost house building, there was a surprise announcement of a ‘Help to Buy ISA’.
A lifeline for first time renters
Yesterday's Homes for Britain rally in Westminster attracted speakers across the spectrum, from Cathy Come Home director Ken Loach to UKIP's Nigel Farage. Amid the rhetorical fireworks was a small but important policy announcement which might have passed some people by.
The Liberal Democrat speaker, Ed Davey MP, said his party would offer government-backed loans to first-time renters under the age of 30 to cover the up-front costs of a tenancy. Generation Rent has been urging the government to adopt this policy since last year - it is already being offered to civil servants.
Landlord Licensing – giving with one hand, taking with the other.
It was announced this week that the Government was protecting tenants by improving fire safety regulations in the private rented sector. However, at the same time they are making it more difficult for councils to introduce borough-wide landlord licensing that help to protect tenants from rogue landlords
Fire Fire! New safety regulations to protect tenants!
There has been some positive news for renters for a change! It was announced by the Minister for Fire Resilience and Emergencies, Penny Mordaunt, at the Local Government Association fire conference, that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are to become mandatory in all privately rented accommodation. These life-saving regulations will be laid before Parliament and will require all private sector landlords to install smoke alarms on each storey of their property, carbon monoxide alarms in the rooms considered most at risk from high levels of carbon monoxide and to check the alarms are in working order at the start of any new tenancy.
The reality of Labour's housing policy
Labour has carefully crafted an identity this election as the party of housing. But if you look at the details, what they’re proposing is terrifying for the average person.
By Lindsey Garrett of the New Era Estate
A new look for Parliament
Here's an idea that will save taxpayers money, help build houses in London and give a disadvantaged northern economy a welcome boost.
Move Parliament to Hull and convert the empty buildings into flats.
Renters at higher risk of mental health problems
Renters are 75% more likely to experience serious anxiety and depression than home-owners, according to a Survation poll commissioned by Generation Rent which we are publishing today. Nearly two in five people who rent their home say they have experienced serious anxiety or depression in the past year. One in five (21%) homeowners reported similar experiences.
What Natalie Bennett should have said
It was hard yesterday not to have some sympathy with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett after that painful interview. But coming unstuck on the numbers or not, it highlighted the point that they are the only party with a shot of winning seats (in England at least) that actually has a target for building significant numbers of social homes and which has identified private sector landlords as the ideal source for funding this.