Quiz your local candidates on housing - organise a hustings!
We're less than three months away from the General Election, and voters still haven't made up their minds about which party has the best policies to fix the housing crisis.
Do your part to help your friends and neighbours reach a decision by organising a Housing Hustings.Read more
Is Government covering up the housing crisis by cutting the English Housing Survey?
The Department for Communities and Local Government is currently consulting on how they can scale back the English Housing Survey, effectively sweeping the housing crisis under the carpet.
The EHS is a continuous survey that provides an annual and comprehensive data set on the stock conditions of housing in this country and the nature of our housing market, measuring characteristics like tenure for example.Read more
Tenancies (Reform) Bill talked out
Five hours is a long time in politics. But not too long if you deliberately want to block a measure that would benefit millions of private renters.
Earlier today, despite overwhelming support from MPs in all parties, the Tenancies (Reform) Bill was not voted on after backbench Conservative MPs (and landlords) Philip Davies and Christopher Chope spoke for hours ad nauseum to stop its passage.Read more
Renters howl for housing outside Parliament
More than 50 private renters demonstrated last night against the spate of revenge evictions that are taking place against tenants with the temerity to request safe and healthy living conditions.
Armed with placards, demonstrators descended on Westminster to push MPs to ban eviction of tenants when the House of Commons debates Sarah Teather's Tenancies (Reform) Bill on Friday.
GMB Young London organised the demo, which brought together Renters Rights London, PricedOut, Hackney Digs, Brent Advice for Renters and Generation Rent. MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell took time out from the chamber to give us their support.
One more chance to ban letting fees
CLICK HERE TO WRITE TO VINCE CABLE. HE CAN BAN LETTING AGENT FEES NEXT WEEK
The issue of lettings agent fees is back in parliament next week with an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill that would make it an offence to charge fees to tenants.Read more
Evicted for trying to help
Michael James has been living in his flat in Tower Hamlets, East London, for 24 years. The building he lives in is getting on a bit and when he found a loose piece of concrete on the walkway, which could have fallen off and hurt children playing below, he asked his landlord to fix it. When this request fell on deaf ears, he went to the council.
(image from ITV London News)
When the landlord found out, Michael received an eviction notice. Tower Hamlets Renters has been helping Michael to fight the eviction and thankfully he is still there.
Last night, ITV London News reported on Michael's case and the new Private Member's Bill in Parliament that could stop these revenge evictions.Read more
A chance to protect tenants
Raising two young sons on her own, Venice Allan did not need extra worries about her housing situation.
"The flat we were in was in the basement and it was damp. After a few months black mould started to appear on the walls. That was bad enough for my sons' health but then we discovered a live wire that needed fixing.Read more
Help ban revenge evictions
Have you ever delayed getting a landlord to maintain your home because it's not worth the bother? Have you ever felt they'll just string you along or worse, evict you as a trouble maker? Well that could soon be over.
MP Sarah Teather has tabled a Private Member's Bill in Parliament that will outlaw so-called revenge evictions.
The truth is that only the worst landlords will boot a tenant over a maintenance issue, but you don't know if you're one of the unlucky ones until you make that complaint. The behaviour of a small number of dodgy landlords creates a very real fear for millions of tenants.
Write to your MP now to demand they support this Bill
Government offers guidance on how to rent
In June, the Department for Communities and Local Government launched a new guide for private rented sector tenants titled How to rent: the checklist for renting in England. With this guide the government want to give the country’s 9 million tenants access to understandable information for renting property in England.
Landlords milking two days wages a week from tenants
Private renters spend 40% of their income on rent, compared with owner occupiers whose mortgage payments average 20% of income, according to the Government's English Housing Survey published this morning.
That means that renters spend two days a week working to pay off their landlords mortgage - most would prefer to be paying off their own, but house prices are far too expensive. It's hard to see how this could be characterised as anything other than exploitation.
An initial set of figures for 2012-13 was published in February - today's more detailed look reveals that:
- Only half of private renters agree that living in their sector is a good way to occupy a home, rather lower than in the other two main tenure groups.
- 73% of private renters were aged under 45 compared with 37% of social renters and just one quarter (27%) of owner occupiers
- A fifth of private renters last year were couples with children - up from 12% in 2008-09
- Over half (55%) of private renters said they anticipated owning their own home in the longer-term. Around a quarter (27%) reported that they expected to still be renting from a private landlord in the longer-term.
This graph makes it clear just how inadequate the private rented sector is - we have proposed a number of policies to fix it in our Renters Manifesto - and sign up here!