You won't believe this totally mind-blowing method of reducing your letting agent fees!

Letting agent fees are one of the most painful aspects of renting. Every time you move, whether into or out of a home, you’re hit with a ludicrous list of fees. And they don’t come cheap either.

One of the most ridiculous, is the dreaded administration fee for changing the name on a tenancy agreement when people move out of a shared rental property. This can cost anything up to £300.

Driven to despair, I’ve developed an ingenious, fool-proof method … Read more

Seven ridiculous London rents that show why we need to fix renting
Seven ridiculous London rents that show why we need to fix renting

Struggling to find a reasonable place to rent in London? You’re not the only one. London renting is broken. For too many of us it is unaffordable, unstable and unsafe.

One in four people living in London are private renters – I’m one of them – and we deserve a better deal. Some renters have already reached breaking point, and decided they’ve no option but to leave London. Yet for many of us that simply isn’t an option. Instead … Read more

Homes for Londoners

Barely a week after the polls closed in the general election, England’s next major political race – to be the new Mayor of London – is already hotting up. Several candidates have formally declared their intention, or hinted at a strong interest in running for their party’s nomination including Ivan Massow and Stephen Greenhalgh for the Conservatives and Sadiq Khan, Diane Abbott, Gareth Thomas and David Lammy for Labour.

What’s clear already is that housing will be the issue that … Read more

A rent cap in name only

This blog was originally published as part of #BeyondtheBallot the Huffington Post UK’s alternative take on the UK General Election 2015. Visit the website to see the original post and join the debate.

A year ago to the day, Ed Miliband announced that a future Labour Government will legislate to make long-term tenancies the legal default. After calling for stable renting since 2012, Shelter welcomed this turning point.

On Sunday, this was repackaged a ‘cap on rents’.

Cue hysteria. … Read more

Right to Buy one-to-one replacement falling short in London

The commitment to build a replacement for every social rented home sold through the Right to Buy scheme is not being fulfilled in London, just as across the country. In 13 boroughs there have been exactly no replacement homes built for the 2,877 social rented homes sold.

We wrote recently about the national failure to replace social rented homes sold through Right to Buy. Back in December 2011, when the government increased the discounts available to tenants, they said … Read more

The politics of rent control

A debate is taking place about whether we should control – or cap – private rents in London.

With the 2016 Mayoral Election edging closer, this debate is heating up. Anyone throwing their hat into the ring is taking a view.

Shelter are currently looking at the technical implications of capping or controlling rents. But we also need to understand the political implications of this very public debate.

It is little wonder that renting dominates our capital’s discourse. The … Read more

Genie let out of the bottle in London

At the beginning of the week the Mayor of London announced new funding and finance for low-cost home ownership homes in the capital. As well £180 million of ‘recoverable funding’ for 4000 new shared ownership homes, the announcement included up to £40 million of cheap loans to bring housing association Gentoo’s Genie product to London.

Genie is a home purchase plan that has been operating in the North East of England since 2011 and it has a lot going … Read more

Are rent caps the answer?

Renters are understandably angry about the unaffordable cost of renting. In the capital, average rent for a two bedroom flat is now a whopping £1,495 a month. Other parts of the country are also experiencing record highs.

Shelter is deeply concerned by how unstable and unaffordable private renting has become.  The record high costs of private renting have led to renewed calls for some form of rent control.  But we’re not convinced that comprehensive rent caps are the best … Read more

Crisis in the Capital

In January, the Evening Standard reported a recent poll, carried out by Ipsos MORI for London Councils, which revealed that four in five Londoners (82 per cent) agree there is a “housing crisis in London”.

It is little wonder when you consider the state of our capital’s housing.

London is unaffordable

House prices in the capital are 18.1 per cent higher than their pre-recession peak in January 2008. The average home was valued at £441,000 in November 2013, Read more

Tough challenges for the next Mayor of London

As officials count the votes from London’s mayoral election, reports suggest that it’s simply too close to call, and we don’t know yet who will be celebrating (or commiserating) over the Bank Holiday weekend.

But whoever London’s next Mayor is, they will have to sober up to the realities facing the capital, in particular those around housing.

We’ve heard some big pledges from the candidates. All of them backed Shelter’s campaign, stating that they’ll create Homes for London, … Read more