Paying rent is biggest concern for private tenants as half face hike
Half of private renters have faced a rent increase in the last year, Generation Rent research finds today, as we call for the government to impose an emergency rent freeze to fight the cost of living crisis.
We need a rent freeze to ease the cost of living crisis
Renters struggling with rising energy bills should be protected from higher rents. We are calling for a ban on rent increases alongside six other proposals we believe will ease the crisis for renters nationwide - including a pause on evictions to stop tenants facing homelessness.Read more
Rising energy bills: 12 things to know
From tomorrow, 1 April, the cap on energy prices increases by 54% - the largest since it was introduced. This will affect anyone who is on a variable tariff. The changes are slightly different for people on prepayment meters – just 14% of the population, but more likely to be private renters.
The price rises are a result of increased global demand for gas towards the end of last year, which is pushing up costs of heating our homes and also the electricity that is generated in gas power plants.
The war in Ukraine started after the increased price cap was announced, so the even higher wholesale gas prices arising from the conflict are not yet reflected in the new cap. We're expecting a further increase of a similar magnitude on 1 October.
Here are twelve things to know as a private renter.Read more
Heat our homes, not the planet!
Two thirds of private renters need much stronger energy efficiency standards if they are to enjoy warmer homes that are affordable to heat and free of damp and mould. That's what our latest research with the Generation Rent Renters' Panel finds.
Installing insulation and other improvements improves a property's value but landlords are leaving their tenants to put up with cold and draughty homes. Even the £5000 Green Homes Grant the government introduced in September has not nudged landlords into action.
As well as higher legal standards, tenants need incentives to demand improvements. Right now many don’t know if they will stay long enough to benefit from improvements and worry that their landlord would raise the rent if they made improvements. Tenancy reform is needed to give renters confidence to ask for improvements, and the ability to claim back rent if their landlord leaves them with an inefficient home.Read more
Will the Green Homes Grant leave renters out in the cold?
Earlier this month, the Chancellor announced £2bn of funding through a Green Homes Grant to insulate homes. Poor insulation is a huge issue for private renters: one in 10 of us live in a home that is unacceptably cold - that's twice the rate among home owners and social tenants.
But it's not easy to get landlords to make these improvements - landlords have no incentive to reduce energy bills that someone else pays, and tenants have no idea how long they'll live somewhere to benefit from better insulation.Read more
Fuel poverty update: we can’t have any more delays in supporting renters in the coldest homes
Just before Christmas, as the weather got colder and government released its latest update on the fuel poverty statistics, there was still no news for private renters who need clarity about the detail of minimum energy efficiency standards in the PRS.
The statistics showed that one in five private rented households are officially fuel poor, and that the average ‘fuel poverty gap’ – the amount of money needed for a household to escape fuel poverty – is highest for private renters.
Despite these worrying trends, there is, in theory at least, some light at the end of the tunnel – but delays in implementing the policy need to be quickly remedied for that to be realised.Read more
Top 10 tips to cut your electricity bill
Thomas Karcher runs Kagoo.co.uk
With sky-high rents squeezing tenant’s budgets, bills are yet another unwelcome expense. However, it is possible to significantly reduce your electricity bill by following our Top 10 electricity saving tips.
1. Check your electricity tariff
As a tenant you are free to switch electricity suppliers without requiring permission from the landlord. Compare tariffs, duel fuel discounts and payment options to ensure you get the best deal.
Please note some agents try and tie tenants into energy deals with a preferred provider. Generation Rent would like to hear if you have been affected by this.Read more
Ending Fuel Poverty: if not now, when?
Today sees the first major public lobby of the new parliament, with up to 8000 people descending on the House of Commons from across the country to speak to their MPs about climate change.
Renters should be interested in this because the number one domestic policy demand will be ‘Warm homes for all’ – and this means making energy efficiency an infrastructure spending priority, as our friends the Energy Bill Revolution have called for in the run-up to the General Election.Read more
Ending fuel poverty for private renters – where we are and where we need to go
Yesterday the Department for Energy and Climate Change finally laid down regulations arising from the 2013 Energy Act which seek to drive up energy efficiency in the private rented sector and bring down fuel poverty as a result.Read more
Private renters suffer cold, damp and mouldy homes
Richard Kay is Communications Manager at the Energy Saving Trust, an organisation helping householders, governments, businesses and organisations save energy every day.
Tenants find it harder to heat their homes than owner occupiers and are the most concerned about their energy bills, according to research from the Energy Saving Trust.
Living in a home that is easy-to-heat, and free of damp and mould should be a basic right, yet it is estimated that there are 400,000 privately rented homes in England with an F or G energy performance rating – almost the same number of households in Birmingham. As winter approaches Caroline Flint’s declaration of war on cold homes couldn’t be more welcome.
Last week we revealed that many private renters are living in damp, cold and mouldy properties, with no expectation their landlord will pay for home improvements after our public opinion tracker UK Pulse also finding that renters are more concerned about their energy bills compared to owner occupiers. In light of these findings, we are urging landlords to look at ways they can improve the EPC rating of their properties.Read more