Monthly archives: September 2016

Catharine Banks
Catharine Banks

By Catharine Banks

A different ball game for housing delivery

At next month’s MIPIM property industry conference, the Legacy Foundation, a charity founded by footballers Rio Ferdinand, Mark Noble and Bobby Zamora, will be launching plans for its first scheme: 1,300 rented homes in Houghton Regis, near Luton. And they’re hoping this project will be the first of many.

The vision is admirable: the football stars want to provide social and affordable housing for key workers and low and middle income families across the country, with community facilities ranging from … MORE...

Kate Webb
Kate Webb

By Kate Webb

Why a ban on letting agent fees would be good news for tenants

At Shelter we believe that tenants shouldn’t be charged up-front fees by letting agents. It’s a stance we took after hearing numerous horror stories from people of sky-high and often baffling charges (£50 furniture rearranging fee anyone?) and coming to the conclusion that this straightforward approach is the only way to inject a little fairness into the lettings market.

The housing minister Gavin Barwell has a different opinion, however, and has dismissed it as a “bad idea”, citing concerns that … MORE...

Janey S
Janey S

By Janey S

“A horrible way to live”: how short-term renting affects family life

We recently received this e-mail from Rachel*, a mother of a young son who had heard about our campaign for longer rental contracts. Here she explains the impact that unstable and insecure renting is having on her and her son’s life:

I am so pleased Shelter has picked this issue up, I’ve lost many tears over this and I’m sure I am not the only one.

This year my son moved up to junior school. He’s a very sensitive child … MORE...

Toby Lloyd
Toby Lloyd

By Toby Lloyd

Strengthening planning from the ground up

The Neighbourhood Planning Bill is another attempt to balance the competing interests that can make planning so divisive. In strengthening neighbourhood plans and compulsory purchase powers it’s a welcome step towards a strong, positive planning system.

Reading Martina Lees’ excellent Sunday Times piece on the travails of the planning system left me feeling real pity for planners. Everyone seems to hate them – for letting homes get built, for NOT letting homes get built, for being too slow with decisions, … MORE...

John Bibby
John Bibby

By John Bibby

Debate around buy-to-let tax changes points to general need for extra safeguards for tenants

The new government looks set to press ahead with controversial changes to the tax regime for small landlords that were set in motion last year. Warnings that this will have disastrous consequences for renters appear overblown, given that our research shows a minority of landlords will be affected.

But it is fair to say that some landlords will likely be forced to sell or put rents up, and safeguards should be put in place to protect tenants affected by this … MORE...

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