Housing White Paper: where do we stand now?
Well, the Housing White Paper was a massive disappointment. After an exciting glimpse on Sunday of moves to "incentivise" longer tenancies, on Tuesday it became clear that those incentives were existing government subsidies for companies building new homes. Number of beneficiaries: 80,322 (not counting the companies who would have offered longer tenancies anyway).
For the 4.3 million households in existing properties? The vague undertaking to "consider what more we can do to support families already renting privately, while encouraging continued investment in the sector." Which gives little hope to people who don't live with their family and a lot of hope to property speculators.Read more
Here's another reason to boo rising house prices
I bet you thought rising house prices just made it more difficult for you to ever own your own home.
Well, it's even worse than that.
Rising house prices increase your risk of being evicted.
Already angry? Jump straight to our campaign page.Read more
Open letter from Butterfields tenants: 'We do not intend to give up our homes without fighting'
Private tenants on the Butterfields Estate in London's Waltham Forest are facing evictions from affordable homes they have lived in for years, after they were sold on without their knowledge. Previously owned by a charitable trust that ensured tenancies were secure and affordable, the two streets of homes were bought up by a private business (BE17Ltd) at the start of this year.Read more
A lifetime of renting for more of us?
A flurry of news reports in the past week have told many of us what we're already thinking: more private renters are facing a lifetime of renting.
First, the Resolution Foundation said that, in ten years' time, 90% of under-35s on modest incomes will be renting for life.
Then, PwC said 40% of Londoners will be renting from a private landlord by 2025.
And today, the government-commissioned English Housing Survey found that 57% of private renters expect to buy their home - down from 61% in the previous year's report.Read more
Wales passes a new Rented Homes Act
The Renting Homes Act for Wales passed through the Assembly at the end of 2015, but the end result was quite different from the initial Bill.
The Welsh Assembly has 60 Assembly Members (AMs) but the Welsh Labour Government only holds 30 of those seats. That means that every Bill has to have approval from one of the opposition parties – Plaid or the Lib Dems– or it won’t go through.Read more
Will the Lords or London's next Mayor strengthen renters' rights?
Renters never really know where they'll live in 12 months' time. Even if your landlord is a charity, charging reasonable rent and letting you turn their property into a home, they could quietly sell up to a landlord who will just evict you and sell your home to the highest bidder.Read more
Spinning the roulette wheel
If you ever wonder why we as a nation are "obsessed" with home ownership when people happily rent for life in Germany and the Netherlands, consider the number of ways you can lose your home as a renter.
Even if you pay the rent on time, take care of the property, and learn your neighbours' names, you can be forced to move if the landlord decides to sell up, raise the rent to a level you can't afford, or just doesn't renew the tenancy.
A new poll from BMG finds that 27% of current and former private renters have experienced an unwanted move.
Join our campaign for fairer tenancies
This morning, the local community in Herne Hill stopped bailiffs from evicting a 69-year-old private tenant from her home of seven years.
Her landlord, Manaquel, served her with a no-fault eviction notice which gave her no option but to move out or sit and wait to be forced out by the bailiffs.
After a notice to quit, a possession order, and a warrant from the court, the bailiffs arrived today at 9:30 to be met by 20 neighbours and local campaigners who sent them on their way.
The London estate being torn apart by evictions
If ever there was a case for the reform of private renters' rights it's this.
Residents of Dorchester Court in Herne Hill all rent from the same landlord, Manaquel Ltd. In recent years, the company has tried putting up the rent by 30% in many cases - some of the residents managed to negotiate a lower increase, but are still paying much more than before.
This year, instead of having their tenancy renewed, the landlord has been issuing them with section 21 eviction notices - giving the tenant 2 months to leave - without giving them a reason or any option to stay.
[photo: Brixton Buzz]Read more
Meanwhile, in Spain
This week, the judge in the case of Bloc La Bordeta, an occupied flat block in Barcelona, ordered the eviction of nine adults and four children, despite both Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Government having urged that the families be allowed to remain in their home of 6 months. Once the injunction arrives, the occupants will have seven days to leave, before being forcibly evicted and in all likelihood, left on the street.Read more