Lessons from Germany: tenant power in the rental market
Last month the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) released its report “Lessons from Germany: Tenant power in the rental market”. It examines the relative strength of protection for German renters, and how these benefits might be brought across to England.Read more
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
Housing White Paper: Our immediate reaction
Commenting on the Housing White Paper, Dan Wilson Craw, Director of Generation Rent, said:
“Sajid Javid has the right analysis about the plight of renters, but his White Paper has failed to offer us anything of substance.Read more
Are landlord incentives the answer to tenant insecurity?
Today's Observer declares that the "home-owning democracy", that elusive vision beloved of the Conservatives since Thatcher, is finished.
Ahead of next week's Housing White Paper, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid says, "We understand people are living longer in private rented accommodation", which is the closest the government has come to admitting that their policies to help first-time buyers can only go so far.Read more
Huge victory for renters as Chancellor bans fees
There was some extra cash for "affordable" housing in Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement, but there was only really one big story from today:
The Government is going to ban letting fees!
This is a phenomenal achievement and the result of a tireless campaign over recent years by us, Shelter, Citizens Advice, the Debrief and local renter groups around the country.
Dozens of us investigated our local letting agents to build up the case for reform on www.lettingfees.co.uk. Thousands of us signed petitions and wrote to our MPs and the government listened.Read more
New developments in London require a relentless focus on affordability - nothing less will do
For the rest of the summer, London politics is formally in recess. Yet, the city keeps on moving and the Mayor has been publicly engaged with the housing elements of a number of high-profile developments.Read more
New PM, new diagnosis of the housing crisis
Before she was fast-tracked to 10 Downing St - in one of many dramatic twists in recent weeks - Theresa May gave us a glimpse of how her housing policy might differ from David Cameron's.
Launching her leadership campaign in Birmingham on Monday, May went further than Cameron has ever done in describing the the damage that house price inflation causes:
"...unless we deal with the housing deficit, we will see house prices keep on rising. Young people will find it even harder to afford their own home. The divide between those who inherit wealth and those who don’t will become more pronounced. And more and more of the country’s money will go into expensive housing instead of more productive investments that generate more economic growth."
Sadiq says his plans are "ambitious but realistic"
This week will mark 50 days since Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London in an election that was defined by the capital’s housing crisis. Yet since that point private renters (and indeed all Londoners hit by its failed housing system) have had to wait patiently to hear the detail within the Mayor’s commitments.Read more
Lords debate letting fees ban
When we published our latest research on letting fees in April, we were expecting a long fight to get the issue of banning them back on the political agenda. The Housing and Planning Act, passed in May, contained no changes to the law on fees, and the only area of housing government is currently legislating on concerns planning.
We didn't have to wait for long though. Olly Grender, a Lib Dem peer, who fought for and won some protections for renters in the Housing Act, was selected to present a private member's Bill. Happily for us, she picked fees.Read more
Guest post: attitudes to rent control in Ireland
In an effort to increase transparency and help Irish voters make an informed decision in tomorrow's general election, we have contacted all election candidates and asked them to say where they stand on a range of issues, including rent control. All candidates’ answers (or the answers provided by their party in some cases) are publicly available on the website www.whichcandidate.ie. Voters can also answer the questions and see which candidates they agree with in their constituency.
We asked candidates whether there should be tighter controls on rent, and candidates are almost evenly split on this question. 43% (188 candidates) said that rent increases should be capped in line with inflation; while 44% (193 candidates) said that current controls on rent were adequate. (The remaining 13% of candidates were either opposed to any controls on rent, or selected none of these options.)Read more