Discrimination against minority ethnic private renters
Research conducted by Generation Rent has revealed shocking discrimination towards minority ethnic communities while navigating the private rental market.
The initial findings, from a survey conducted with 105 private renters, highlight the many inequalities, both individual and structural, which affect people who identify as minority ethnic.
Please note: All participant names have been changed to protect their identity.
Holiday let proposals shut stable door after the horse has bolted
Today the government published new plans for regulating holiday lets in England. As we've reported, thousands of homes have been lost to the tourist sector in recent years, pushing up rents in holiday hotspots like Cornwall, the Lake District and Norfolk.
Unfortunately proposed planning rules will not reverse the recent trend.
Podcast Make Sure You Can Vote on 4 May 2023
In this episode of the Generation Rent podcast, Tilly Smith, Generation Rent’s Campaigns and Partnership's Officer chats to Niki Nixon, the Head of External Communications at the Electoral Commission, about all the things you need to know in order to vote at the local elections on 4 May.
Sophie and Niki discuss how to register, what to do if you are an EU or Commonwealth citizen and want to vote, what kind of ID you will need and much more. If you want to find out more about the Electoral Commission then you can visit their website here.
The New How To Rent Guide
When you start a tenancy, your landlord must provide you with certain information and documentation related to the property. This includes a valid gas safety certificate, a copy of your property’s Energy Performance Certificate and a copy of the How to Rent Guide, published by the government. A new version of the How to Rent Guide was published recently.
The obstacles Ukrainian refugees face in accessing housing in the UK and the threat of a homelessness crisis
“We are returning to Ukraine because we have not found an apartment to rent”
As of March 2023, 222,000 visas have been awarded to Ukrainians fleeing from the war. This Saturday marks the first anniversary since individuals were able to act as sponsors in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which accounts for 70% of all visas.
Over recent months, Generation Rent worked with the Ukrainian organisation Opora to investigate the experiences of Ukrainian refugees in navigating the UK’s housing sector.
Ukrainians overwhelmingly reported a host of obstacles preventing them from accessing good quality homes. And, those Ukrainian refugees who were able to find accommodation to rent faced various standards and repair issues.
Too many respondents were being presented with three options: become homeless, endure poor quality housing, or return to Ukraine. Clearly, things need to change.
We would like to thank the 325 Ukrainian refugees completed the survey, which ran between 21 November 2022 and 8 January 2023.
1100 homes private rented homes with dangerous mould not covered by Awaab's Law
Local councils in England found 1,106 private rented homes with dangerous levels of damp and mould in 2021-22, our research has found.
LUHC Select Committee Report on the White Paper “Reforming the Private Rented Sector” – Our Verdict
4.6 million households who live in the private rented sector (PRS) continue to wait for the Renters Reform Bill to improve the security, quality and affordability of their homes.
In the meantime, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee have released their report on the White Paper ‘a fairer private rented sector’ giving their view on the proposed legislation. This is an important step in scrutinising the government’s plans and has raised a number of issues which will shape the debate in the months to come.
Where has renting grown the most since 2011?
Today we learned that the population of private renters grew by more than 1 million households between 2011 and 2021.
One in five of us in England and Wales now rents from a private landlord - a huge increase in ten years, while the proportion of the population that owns their home has fallen.
All that is stuff we had a pretty good idea about already, but for the first time we know where all those private renters are!
Foxtons and the Tenant Fees Act
Since 2019, it has been illegal for letting agents and landlords to charge tenants fees for starting a tenancy - and for renewing one, and ending one.
Tenants can challenge illegal fees at a Tribunal, and we recently discovered one of the biggest names in the property world, Foxtons, was ordered to refund tenants whom they charged illegal fees.
Paying rent is biggest concern for private tenants as half face hike
Half of private renters have faced a rent increase in the last year, Generation Rent research finds today, as we call for the government to impose an emergency rent freeze to fight the cost of living crisis.
29 homes lost per day to the Holiday Homes Sector
England’s housing supply lost nearly 11,000 properties to the second home and holiday let sector between 2021 and 2022, according to our new analysis of local tax data.
Findings reveal startling prevalence of 'Sex for Rent' and predatory behaviour in the private rental market
Content warning: Sexual offences
Research conducted by Generation Rent and Mumsnet has revealed a shocking prevalence of predatory behaviour, from unscrupulous landlords and letting agents towards tenants, in the private rented sector.
In a survey of 1045 submissions, respondents reported that unscrupulous landlords or letting agents had acted inappropriately or predatorily towards them in the past:
- 4% of respondents had been offered free or discounted rent in exchange for sexual favours
- 14% had experienced suggestive remarks
- 12% heard comments of a sexual nature
- 11% experienced unwanted comments about their body or appearance
- 4% had experienced unwanted touching
And private renters not in a relationship and on lower incomes were significantly more likely to report that they had experienced harassment and abuse.
Black History Month: The fight to end housing inequality
Housing has always been an important aspect of the fight for racial equality. In celebration of Black History Month 2022, at Generation Rent we are commemorating the work of black campaigners and their fight towards housing equality. However, it is also important to acknowledge how far we still have to go.
Podcast: Energy Efficiency
In this episode of the podcast Sophie is joined by Zoe Avison from the Green Alliance to discuss how best to keep your home warm this winter and why insulation and greener, cheaper forms of energy are so important for renters. To find out more about the Green Alliance, visit their website here
How Street Votes could end our housing heartbreak
Freddie Poser is Director of PricedOut, the national campaign for affordable house prices
Being a renter can suck, and it seems to get worse every year with higher rents, unfair deposit deductions, no-fault evictions, application letters, and new listings being snapped up in mere seconds. What can we do? One path is to reform the rental market to give tenants more protections. Another, complementary, path is to improve the renters’ bargaining power by increasing the supply of properties on the market. But raising supply has been politically very difficult, with many reform efforts foundering on the rocks of public opposition. Street votes are different. While it might not change the world tomorrow, it might just deliver supply where other efforts have failed.
Podcast: Home Not Hotels
In this episode of the podcast, Sophie is joined by Rachael Maskell, the MP for York Central, Dr Tom Simcock Research Fellow & Research Manager of the Healthy Housing Initiative at the University of Huddersfield and Dan Wilson Craw, Deputy Director of Generation Rent to discuss holiday lets, their impact on the private rented sector and what potential solutions their are to mitigate their impact on local housing.
If you have a story you would like to share on the podcast or want a particular topic covered in a future episode then contact Will at [email protected] to discuss your idea.
45% of private renters face rent hike
Nearly half of private renters have faced a rent increase in the last year, our latest survey has found, which is why we are calling for the government to impose a rent freeze to fight the cost of living crisis.
"I didn’t feel safe being my full self" - the LGBTQ+ experience of renting
Pride month is nearly at an end, but that doesn’t mean that issues affecting LGBTQ+ people will suddenly disappear. Discrimination, both explicit and structural, remains an unfortunate reality for non-heterosexual, trans and non-binary people in every facet of day-to-day life.
How well do councils know their local renters?
Two thirds of private renters are unaware that their local council can help them with certain problems with their landlord, letting agent or home, according to our latest research.
Renters Reform White Paper - our verdict
After a consultation, a General Election, three Queen’s Speeches and a pandemic, the government’s plans for reform of the rental market are finally here. The commitment to abolish Section 21 that kicked off this process back in 2019 is still the centrepiece of the reforms, but there are wider changes to landlord regulation as well.
Evictions in Scotland - what do we know?
Nearly one third of private landlords who evicted tenants in order to sell the property had failed to sell the home more than a year later, according to our latest research into the Scottish tenancy system.
Three years later, tenancy reform is still on
As a new session of Parliament begins, the government has renewed its commitment to create a fairer rental market. As well as plans to abolish Section 21 no-fault evictions - first announced in 2019, the latest version of the Renters Reform Bill looks likely to introduce a landlord register.
Coalition demands action in Queens Speech
Generation Rent and members of the Renters Reform Coalition handed a letter into 10 Downing Street today to urge Boris Johnson to end unfair evictions for good in 2022 and announce a Renters’ Reform Bill in next Tuesday’s Queens Speech.
Illegal rentals costing tenants £321m extra in energy bills
A quarter of a million landlords are letting families live in homes that are so expensive to heat they are illegal to let out. We estimate tenants in properties across England to be spending £321 million more this year on energy bills than they would if their homes met basic standards.
We need a rent freeze to ease the cost of living crisis
Renters struggling with rising energy bills should be protected from higher rents. We are calling for a ban on rent increases alongside six other proposals we believe will ease the crisis for renters nationwide - including a pause on evictions to stop tenants facing homelessness.
Rent tribunals in England – what do we know?
Here’s something you probably didn’t know.
If your landlord wants to raise your rent to a level you don’t agree with, and you can’t negotiate a compromise, they must issue you with a Section 13 notice. And as a tenant you can challenge this notice by applying to the First Tier Tribunal for a rent assessment.
Podcast: Make sure you can vote on 5 May
In this, the first episode of the Generation Rent podcast, Sophie Delamothe, Generation Rent’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager, chats to Niki Nixon, the Head of External Communications at the Electoral Commission, about all the things you need to know in order to vote at the local elections on 5 May.
Sophie and Niki discuss how to register, what to do if you lose your polling card, how to vote if you are self-isolating, and much more. If you want to find out more about the Electoral Commission then you can visit their website here.
This will be the first of hopefully many podcasts produced by Generation Rent. If you have a story you would like to share on the podcast or want a particular topic covered in a future episode then contact Will at [email protected] to discuss your idea.
Rising energy bills: 12 things to know
From tomorrow, 1 April, the cap on energy prices increases by 54% - the largest since it was introduced. This will affect anyone who is on a variable tariff. The changes are slightly different for people on prepayment meters – just 14% of the population, but more likely to be private renters.
The price rises are a result of increased global demand for gas towards the end of last year, which is pushing up costs of heating our homes and also the electricity that is generated in gas power plants.
The war in Ukraine started after the increased price cap was announced, so the even higher wholesale gas prices arising from the conflict are not yet reflected in the new cap. We're expecting a further increase of a similar magnitude on 1 October.
Here are twelve things to know as a private renter.
Government signs up to national landlord register
After an eight-year campaign, today we heard that the government will bring in a register of landlords in England as part of its levelling up agenda.
The Times reported this morning that the Housing Secretary Michael Gove will also raise minimum standards that private rented homes have to meet in line with those in the social sector. The Mirror has also covered the story - you don't have to register to read theirs.
One no-fault eviction every 32 minutes this winter
Private renter evictions have been dramatically increasing since the Government ended the last of the Covid protections in June.
Evictions are on their way to hit their pre-pandemic levels and so households and families around the country are once again being forced to move over the Christmas period.
Evicted on Christmas Eve - John's Story
Generation Rent supporter John describes just how terrible an unfair eviction during the Christmas period is.
In October we were given eight weeks notice to leave our family home of eight years. Never have we missed a month's rent. We pride ourselves on being good tenants who keep our home well looked after - but none of that matters. We must be out by Christmas Eve.
My unsafe home caught fire on New Year’s Eve - Shane's Story
I have spent about a decade renting in the private sector. This covered my time as student through to working full time. Sometimes I’ve been tempted to try to work out how much I’ve actually spent on rent during the ten years, but I haven’t dared do it as I’m sure the answer would just be too depressing. For me, renting has meant fighting to get deposits back, pleading with letting agencies or landlords to get basic repairs carried out, having to leave a property a short notice as it was being sold, and being trapped in a cycle of fees and ever increasing rents. My longest period at a property was three years, and the shortest was six months
Sex for Rent ads
CW// Sexual Offences
Sex for Rent is a crime whereby an individual offers accommodation at a reduced cost or for free, in exchange for sexual acts. This arrangement can be enacted at the outset of a new tenancy, or enforced during a tenancy, often when tenants experience difficulties in paying the rent.
A 2016 Shelter survey found that 8% of women had been offered a Sex for Rent arrangement at some point in their lives. However, only one person has ever been charged in a Sex for Rent Case, and only as recently as January 2021.
44,000 renters faced homelessness in our wait for eviction reform
In April 2019, the government promised to abolish Section 21 "no fault" evictions. Two years later, we're still waiting for Parliament to change the law.
Deposit cap keeps over £100 in renters' pockets
Finding the money for the deposit on a new tenancy can be extremely difficult for many private renters. Not only does this make the cost of moving even more stressful but it also makes it harder for tenants to move out of an unsuitable property and puts tenants who face eviction at risk of homelessness.
But the good news is that the cap on deposits introduced in June 2019 means renters now have an average of £113 more in their pockets.
Not even disabled renters are safe from evictions - Emma's Story
Generation Rent supporter Emma explains what it's like facing a revenge eviction and the effect of discrimination in the private rental market as a disabled renter.
The holiday let boom is causing a crisis for local renters
A sharp rise in properties being let out as holiday homes, has meant that renters around the UK are being priced out of their own local communities, our latest research has found. And renters in Scotland, Wales and the South West of England are the worst hit.