Homes fit for humans one step closer
Third time was the charm for efforts to revive the right of renters to sue their landlord for safety failures.
Karen Buck's Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill was talked out in 2015, then a Labour amendment to the Housing Bill in 2016 was defeated. But today, after winning the support of more than 100 MPs who attended the Second Reading debate, the Bill passed unanimously and is a step closer to being law.Read more
Autumn Budget - an anticlimax for renters
The big news in today's Budget was the abolition of stamp duty for most first-time buyers.
From today if you buy your first home you'll pay nothing to the government on the first £300,000 (unless it costs more than £500,000 and you need to be super-rich before you're in that territory).Read more
A glimpse of Tory tenancy reform?
An intriguing exchange in the House of Commons this week may contain clues about the government's big forthcoming announcement of reforms to tenancies.
During a debate on temporary accommodation, the backbench Conservative MP Bob Blackman said this:
The greatest cause of homelessness is the end of an assured shorthold tenancy. They usually run for six months and at the end of that period families often have to move. The solution is clear: we need longer tenancies and more security of tenure for families, but also assurances to landlords that they will get paid their rent and that the tenants will behave themselves in accordance with the contract they have signed. I ask the Minister to update us on where we are going with lengthening tenancies, which would dramatically reduce homelessness at a stroke. Perhaps we can do that.
Tory conference announcements pull punches on housing crisis
At the General Election in June, Labour won a majority of the votes of the under-40s. This was a wake-up call for the Conservative Party, many of whose members are now filled with a new urgency to address this cohort's biggest concerns - including a rather large house-shaped one.
Their annual conference has duly been bursting with new housing policies, particularly for private renters. But while they are (for the most part) improvements, the proposals fail to address the urgency of the housing crisis.Read more
How new rent controls could work
The biggest talking point of Jeremy Corbyn's speech to Labour Party conference this week was rent controls. Since 2014 Labour has been proposing to limit rises in rents during tenancies, but there was something different this time around.
This is what the Labour leader said on Wednesday:
We will control rents - when the younger generation’s housing costs are three times more than those of their grandparents, that is not sustainable. Rent controls exist in many cities across the world and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections.
MPs debate letting fee ban
The ban on letting fees is currently the government's flagship policy to help renters, and we're currently waiting for a draft bill to be published, which follows a consultation that we and hundreds of our supporters responded to.
In the meantime, MPs gave us a taste of how the legislation will proceed in Parliament yesterday morning by debating the subject for the first time since last year's Autumn Statement.Read more
Renters vote - and cause another political upset
The results are in, and the UK's voters have delivered yet another shock.
The dust still has to settle but one thing is already apparent: the votes of renters had an impact yesterday. Twenty of the 32 seats that the Conservatives lost to Labour and the Liberal Democrats had more renters than average. Back at the 2011 census, those 32 seats had an average private renter population of 19% - it was 16% in the country as a whole.Read more
The choice tomorrow
We haven't been posting much on here for the past few weeks as we have joined forces with ACORN on #RentersVote for the duration of the election.
There we have analysed each of the 5 UK-wide parties' manifestos and pulled it all together into one big graphic, so you can see what we made of their housing commitments side-by-side.
3.4m private renters risk losing their vote
With one week until voter registration closes, we've estimated that more than three million private renters in England are at risk of losing their vote at the General Election.
1.8m private renters have moved home since the 2016 Referendum and must therefore register again. Private renters are typically on tenancy agreements of no longer than 12 months and are six times more likely to move in a given year than homeowners.Read more
One promise the Prime Minister must keep
Theresa May has broken her word. She ruled out a snap election five times, then called one.
Our question is: what other promises is she going to tear up?
The government is consulting now on proposals to ban letting fees, and the deadline of 2 June is a week before polling day.Read more