Shedding light on letting fees
If you're thinking of moving to the north east London borough of Waltham Forest, be sure to check what letting fees you'd have to pay with each agent. Our friends at Waltham Forest Renters have published a list of all the area's letting agents and what fees they display online. A two-person household could find themselves paying between £150 and £792 depending on who they pick. The story has been picked up in the local press and by Londonist.
What Labour's stamp duty 'holiday' really means
The latest announcement from Labour is that first-time buyers will be given a ‘holiday’ on stamp duty for homes purchased under £300,000. With the average house price in London standing at over £460,000 it is clear this policy will only be applicable outside of the capital.Read more
What are the parties offering renters?
All five main UK-wide parties have now published their election manifestos. I took a trawl through them to dig out their plans for renters and the wider housing market.Read more
2015 - The General Election where English renters lose out?
Just a few days into the 2015 General Election campaign, and we are already in the midst of a confusing barrage of promises, photo-ops, accusations and counter-claims. Even to a hardened political observer, it is genuinely difficult to evaluate the statistics, date the political commitments or even work out who is saying what.Read more
George Osborne pledges right to sub-let
Amid the fanfare of the Help to Buy ISA in last week's Budget, the Chancellor made another, quieter move to help renters. George Osborne pledged to legislate to stop tenants automatically being banned in their contracts from sub-letting space in their home on a short-term basis.
This move follows changes in the Deregulation Bill to allow Londoners to rent out their homes for short periods without needing planning permission - previously anyone in the capital advertising holiday lets on sites such as Airbnb was breaking the law.Read more
Rent Freedom Day - videos now up
If you couldn't make it to Rent Freedom Day, we have the next best thing - video of two of the biggest events on the schedule: the opening speech from journalist, author and fresh-faced firebrand Owen Jones (20 mins), and the National Renters Hustings (1h15m).
MPs from four main parties came together for the first time in the real world to debate renting and face questions from the public. Conservative Mark Pawsey, Labour's Emma Reynolds, Lib Dem Minister Stephen Williams and the Greens' Caroline Lucas all bravely faced an audience that has long been overlooked by politicians and wants answers. UKIP was invited but didn't send anyone.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
It's December...Rising Rents & Increased Homeless
Rising Rents & Increased Homelessness
Today there have been a range of statistics released on the private rented sector, mortgage lending and homelessness which confirm a fairly gloomy picture for those stuck privately renting.Read more
Controlling rents: A response to the private renting affordability crisis
Today Generation Rent has published a proposal for a flexible rent control policy, aimed first at London but applicable to anywhere where the rent is too high. Diane Abbott MP has kindly written the foreword.Read more
Stamp Duty reform, but nothing for renters
George Osborne's final Autumn Statement before the General Election has been trailed across the media since Sunday, including announcements about housebuilding as part of the National Infrastructure Plan. A lot of this - including the garden city in Bicester - is fairly old news, but it's interesting that the government is planning to get directly involved in building houses - 10,000 of them just outside Cambridge.
The Treasury might want to use this as an opportunity to try out Generation Rent's proposed model of a bubble-free housing market - we estimate that it would cost £1bn to build 10,000 homes, sell them at little over cost-price and plough the proceeds into another 10,000 home project. Those new houses would be shielded from any above-inflation price rises.
When it came to the Statement itself, earlier this afternoon, Osborne had very little to offer those who want cheaper housing. His big announcement, which is bound to dominate tomorrow's front pages, was the reform of stamp duty.