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

A small step for parliament, a big leap for renters

This afternoon, the government gave their backing to Sarah Teather’s bill to end retaliatory eviction in the private rented sector. This is a huge step forward for private renters.

We know that over 200,000 renters across England were evicted or served with an eviction notice in the last year, simply because they complained about a problem in their home.

No one should face eviction for complaining about bad conditions. The government’s – and ultimately Parliament’s – support for Sarah’s Bill … Read more

Tenancies (Reform) Bill

Today, Department for Communities and Local Government Minister Stephen Williams announced that – in principle – the government will support Sarah Teather’s Tenancies (Reform) Bill. The Bill seeks to give renters security of tenure by ending retaliatory eviction. It also hopes to improve conditions in the private rented sector and make the eviction process better for renters, landlords and the courts.

Although the Bill is still being drafted, we thought this would be a good opportunity to outline what … Read more

What's really happened to rents in Scotland?

Last week, Estate Agent LSL Property Services used the release of their Buy-to-Let index to claim that the ban on letting fees in Scotland has caused a ‘rent hike’. This didn’t sound quite right to us at Shelter, so we decided to go away and take a closer look.

Tell me more.

When we looked more closely at LSL’s index- we found that their own figures did not stack up against this claim of a ‘rent hike’.

LSL have reported… Read more
We wish this was a joke...

Ever get the feeling people are talking about you behind your back? Or ever wondered what actually happens when you complain to your landlord or letting agent?

 Well Miguel found out first hand what both were like when his letting agent accidentally forwarded an email conversation he’d been having with Miguel’s landlord.

 This actually happened. And it’s pretty awkward.

Agent: I’ve told Miguel that you’re coming to the flat today for the boiler. Best say you’re the landlord’s brother that … Read more

A bill to end retaliatory eviction

This afternoon, Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather presented the Tenancies (Reform) Bill for its first reading in Parliament. The bill is described as a “bill to protect tenants against retaliatory eviction; to amend the law on notices requiring possession relating to assured shorthold tenancies; and for connected purposes”.

Parliament will now debate whether to introduce legislation to end retaliatory eviction in the private rented sector.

Sarah presented the bill with the support of parliamentary colleagues from right across the … Read more

Guest Blog- Kate Faulkner

Property expert Kate Faulkner has written this guest blog on the unsatisfactory state of today’s housing market. Like Shelter, Kate believes that it is time for politicians of all stripes to take bold action to deliver the new homes our country desperately needs, and to effectively regulate a private rented sector that is now home to 9 million people.

To solve the housing battle, we need the same determination our Veterans had

With the recent D-Day celebrations, I’m reminded of … Read more

Good landlords

Shelter is occasionally labelled as ‘anti-landlord’, this is absolutely not the case. We’re anti-rogue landlords, certainly. And yes, we campaign vigorously on private renting.

Private rented housing makes up a disproportionate share of the problems Shelter’s advisers deal with every day; our work gives us direct experience of the problems faced by people who rent privately. All too often our advisers witness shocking behaviour that can make renters’ lives a misery, which is why we focus on the elements that Read more

Common sense, common purpose

Regular readers of this blog will know how much we care about tackling retaliatory eviction. As we’re once again focusing on our ‘9 million renters campaign’ I thought it would be helpful for me to explain in more detail why reforming Section 21 eviction notices makes so much sense- and why the Government should take decisive action now.

1) The reforms Shelter- and many others- have proposed are good for renters and landlords.

We are calling for … Read more

Guest Blog- Paul Shamplina, Landlord Action

At Shelter, we do all we can to stand up for renters’ rights. But we know that landlords also face their fair share of problems. Ultimately we want to see a private rental market that works for both landlords and renters.

That’s why, at the beginning of the year Shelter went to visit Landlord Action, a landlord advice and solicitor firm. We wanted to understand more about the problems landlords faced. During this visit we found that there was a … Read more

Helping renters doesn’t have to mean harming landlords

You often hear people suggest the way to fix the problems with private renting is for renters to simply complain or shop around. But this presumes that renters can easily do either. Unfortunately whilst renters should feel able to complain many are fearful of doing so. Our research has found that 1 in 12 renters avoided asking their landlord to carry out improvements or repairs in the last year, because they were scared of eviction. And arguments telling renters to … Read more

Is stable renting the future?

This morning Ed Miliband announced that, if a Labour Government is elected in 2015, they will legislate to make long-term tenancies the legal default. This follows the Government’s promise last October to produce a model ‘Family Friendly Tenancy’ and to encourage stable renting through their ‘How to Rent’ guide.

Labour’s default offers longer tenancies that limit rental increases and retain flexibility for renters. This is what Shelter has been calling for since September 2012, which is why we hope Read more