Generation Rent supporter Anna tells her story of renting while Section 21 'no fault' evictions continue.
I have been renting my studio flat for about two and a half years. I received my first Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notice in the summer of 2019, but it turned out to be invalid because the property lacked a mandatory license.
I received my second Section 21 notice in the middle of March last year, shortly before the UK went into lockdown. For me, the timing of this turned out to be fortuitous, because the accompanying eviction ban meant that my landlady didn’t have a chance to apply to the courts before the expiration of the notice. Despite the difficulties and reduced work hours that the series of lockdowns have caused me, the relative housing security the government afforded renters has been the silver lining.Read more
My husband and I have had an assured shorthold tenancy since 1997. I’m 65 years of age and my husband is 69. Over the years we have had to carry out repairs to the property ourselves which we have been prepared to do. Since December 2019, our landlord has been continually harassing us, removing our boundary fences and hedges, while we were away prior to lockdown. He has taken control of our garden, leaving us without any privacy whatsoever.
We used to have dogs that enjoyed the freedom of the garden but they have sadly passed away. We cannot get another dog as we wouldn’t be able to keep it contained within the garden. In fact, we now get other neighbours’ dogs and foxes coming into our property and there is nothing to stop them.
Our landlord is also removing our driveway and has left the edges in an unsafe state causing us to suffer twisted ankles and injuries when we take rubbish to our bins. One Saturday afternoon in June our landlord and his son demolished our own shed and greenhouse while our possessions were still in them. They had been in place the whole time we’ve lived here and were put there with his permission.
Everything has been done completely unannounced and behind our backs and seems to have been done to drive us out of the property.Read more
At the end of January 2020, I was made redundant. However, I was given a much appreciated redundancy package with severance pay, and was able to quickly find a new job to move into. That was however before the coronavirus and lockdown was enforced and, at the end of March, I lost this job as well. I was able to temporarily pay my rent and living costs from my original severance pay, but under the unaffordable rent costs in London, these savings soon dwindled away.
In good faith, and in an effort to avoid debt, I contacted my landlord, requesting that, with the allowances property owners had been given by the Government, I could have a rent reduction until I found another job. My request was met with an outright rejection, and I quickly started receiving aggressive letters from my landlord’s solicitors, demanding that I pay the rent in full. This was impossible, and I was forced to terminate my tenancy in London and move away.Read more
Finding a flat to rent in England can be tough. The stress only compounds when things don’t go as planned. When I lived in London, I got caught out when my landlord insisted on “renegotiating” the tenancy terms after I had paid a holding deposit (a troublingly common practice in the market).
Here are twelve things tenants can do to protect their rights, which helped me succeed in my legal claim against my landlord.Read more
Ask anyone who’s renting, everyone’s got a story to share. Whether it’s good, bad or just plain ugly; every renter has had their own experience with a landlord or a letting agent that can give us insight into what can be expected as a potential tenant of theirs.
Now, while it can be fun to wax lyrical about rental horror stories, we wanted to figure out how this exchange of experiences could be harnessed to the benefit of generation rent - so we created Marks out of Tenancy.
A few years ago my brother David was the victim of a rental scam. It was this experience that led us to research the scale of the problem and start to think about ways to raise awareness and maybe even prevent this kind of fraud from happening in the first place.
We realised there is a compromise when seeking a rental today: either go through a letting agent which may charge excessive fees, or use a listings site where there's a chance of being scammed. It wasn't difficult to find fake listings on websites. Renters told us they were daunted by paying out thousands to a landlord (who is a stranger) but did so as they had little choice.Read more
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
Michael Green is the founder of CaseHub.
Over the past six months, I have been working with some of the country’s leading barristers to put together a lawsuit that proves how most letting fees in England and Wales are unlawful.
The good news is that they agree.
We now need to take that case to court. The good news is that if it wins, renters will be entitled to get their letting fees back, and in future some of them might be stopped entirely.Read more
More than a hundred people came to the Renters’ Hustings on Tuesday to hear candidates from five parties tell us what they’ll do for private renters if they’re elected as London Mayor or Assembly Member – a lively discussion chaired brilliantly by Buzzfeed’s Jim Waterson. All five candidates (Sian Berry: Green, Tom Copley: Labour, Joy Morrissey: Conservative, Zack Polanski: Lib Dem and David Kurten: UKIP) said they are private renters themselves, so perhaps they know how, er, ‘special’ it is trying to survive as a private renter in this city.
The Labour Party’s Independent Review of Retirement Income (IRRI) has suggested that workers should be aiming to save 15% of their salary into the pension each month, according to a BBC report.
The other week, in an FT piece that went viral, Rebecca Taylor, director at the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments, said that 25-year-olds should be aiming to pay an average of £800 a month into their pension for the next forty years. Now this is an average: less now can be balanced out by paying more later. But the message is clear: start now.Read more