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

Private renting, a turning point

Tomorrow Ed Miliband will announce that, if a Labour Government is elected in 2015, they will legislate to make long-term tenancies the legal default and ban letting agents from charging fees to tenants.

This commitment to stable, affordable renting is a major turning point for England’s 9 million renters and something that Shelter has been campaigning for since 2012.

It follows the Government’s promise last October to do what it can to end the practice of retaliatory eviction.  … Read more

Tenure blues

New polling released today by ComRes tells us, once again, that British people don’t want to rent. Given the choice, the vast majority of people (81 per cent) would rather buy a home than rent one.

Even the young adults who are supposed to ‘enjoy the flexibility’ of private renting seem to find it pretty painful: three quarters of 18 to 24 year olds would rather own their own home.

Unfortunately, few people think that this preference will ever be … Read more

The Immigration Bill- bad for renters and bad for landlords

The Immigration Bill is currently making its way through the House of Lords. The Bill instructs private landlords to check renters’ immigration status. At Shelter, we are all for a more regulated private rented sector but this measure will make an already difficult, expensive, and over-heated rental market even worse for people with few good options open to them.

We know that the private rented sector is already under immense pressure: more people are renting and more renters are … 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

Rewarding rogues?

This afternoon Shelter and Crisis are launching Sustain: a longitudinal qualitative research study of people’s wellbeing and outcomes in private rented sector housing. The study spent 19 months tracking the experiences and wellbeing of 128 people who had been rehoused in the private rented sector following a period of homelessness. It found that these people are frequently living in shocking conditions:

Every home had a condition problem. The majority of people had to deal with problem landlords. Some people… 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

The tenants’ trap

Following the actions of Fergus and Judith Wilson hundreds of private renters have been served legal eviction notices– simply for receiving some housing benefit. According to the most recent National Landlords Association survey just one in five landlords let to people on benefits.

Those in desperate need may turn to their council for homelessness assistance. All local authorities in England have a legal duty to assist people who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness. As the loss of Read more