The Government have asked landlords to show 'compassion' and work with tenants to accommodate their circumstances, but renters have told us that this is not happening.Read more
The Government must act now.
The pandemic affects us all - but private renters face particular problems. As the situation has escalated, renters have got in touch with us to express concern over self isolating safely in a shared house, and how they will pay their rent if they are forced to stay home, or lose their job. It's not just those who fall ill with coronavirus who are affected - many renters who are self-employed or on zero-hours contracts have already lost work, and many more are nervous about redundancy, unpaid leave or losing hours. Renters spend over 40% of their earnings on rent, and as a result, two thirds of renters have no savings.Read more
There’s been some good news this month for people facing discrimination in the private rental market – because of how they pay their rent, or because of who they are.
Buy-to-let mortgage conditions
First, Natwest announced that it would lift “all restrictions on landlords renting to tenants who are in receipt of housing benefits”.Read more
Back in October, we learned that Natwest had asked one of its buy-to-let customers to either evict her tenant, who was receiving housing benefit, or pay a draconian fee to switch her mortgage.
The bank’s terms and conditions prohibited customers from letting to tenants in receipt of housing benefit. Yet another example of a bank discriminating against low-income households and fuelling the “No DSS” culture. But this time, 62% of the bank is owned by the government, i.e. us.
The landlord has started a petition urging the government to stop this practice by high street banks, and it’s nearly at 5000 signatures.Read more
Today Generation Rent publishes 'London's Turning: Towards a sustainable private rented sector under the new Mayor', our call on Sadiq Khan to act rapidly and boldly in his response to the capital's housing crisis.Read more
Having won the election, George Osborne used his first Budget of the parliament to rifle through the pockets of his vanquished political rivals. He abolished non-dom status for permanent UK residents and announced an increase in the minimum wage, dubbing it the Living Wage in the process - both more or less Labour election policies.
And he nicked a Green Party policy by cutting tax relief for landlords.Read more
There have been not one but two reports out in the past 24 hours which advise the government how it can boost housebuilding at the lower end of the market - something that was woeful under the past government with its slashed grant funding and so-called affordable rent.
In a bid to shake off the toxicity of the "affordable" tag, the National Housing Federation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Savills have produced a report into how living rents could be set and underpin an increase in housebuilding of 80,000 homes a year. Based on what is affordable on low incomes, their local "living" rents are set at roughly 40% of the market rate - instead of the 80% the government claims is affordable. Just £3bn of public money a year could fund this programme.Read more
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 EstateRead more
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.Read more