Tom’s Story
Tom’s Story

Tom’s landlord was exploiting and abusing his vulnerable tenants. Tom, with Shelter’s help, took legal action. 

‘In December 2016, I moved into a new place. It was the kind of house that people move into when they’re desperate, the landlord knew it and he took advantage.  

The oven was leaking gas when I moved in. The landlord had blocked off the boiler so the tenants couldn’t turn on the heating and the shower had rotten floorboards under it; you could … Read more

The government is taking action to protect private renters (part 1)
The government is taking action to protect private renters (part 1)

The government’s drive to improve private renting has got a spring in its step. Not only has the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published its next steps for bringing in letting agent regulation and mandatory client money protection, but banning orders and the rogue landlord and letting agent database, as promised in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, come into force this week.

Over two blogs we’ll look at how, together with the ban on letting agent … Read more

Newham’s selective licensing scheme renewed - except for the Olympic Park

Late last week, we learnt that the Government has decided that Newham can renew its selective licensing scheme across almost all of the borough, for another five years.

Five months after the council first submitted its application, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has given Newham permission to renew its scheme, except for the E20 postcode – the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site, not the fictional Albert Square.

While the delay means that there will be a gap … Read more

Rogue One: Government policies are forcing tenants onto bad landlords

Imagine living in a house without hot water and heating. Or with mouse infestations, broken appliances, damp and mould. These are some of the problems people coming to Shelter live with every day.

Thanks to Shelter’s campaigning, local authorities are clamping down on this behaviour. A Guardian investigation has named some of the most prosecuted landlords in Bristol. Some of the problems found mirror what we see on a daily basis: broken cookers and drains, cold, substandard or unlicensed homes. … Read more

Government crackdown on rogue landlords

On Monday, the government announced that they will use the Housing Bill to crack down on rogue landlords. They published a raft of new, tough measures.

Disappointingly, this was wrapped up with some pretty objectionable plans to ‘make Britain an even harder place for illegal migrants’. We have already spoken out against these plans – and many others have warned that they will lead to discrimination and homelessness.

This angle was particularly frustrating, as buried underneath the angry rhetoric … Read more

A tax on both your (privately rented) houses

Wednesday’s budget furrowed many a brow at Shelter. The Chancellor singled out housing support for substantial cuts. A lot of the people who come to Shelter for help are about to find themselves worse off – and our job just got tougher.

However, amidst this frustration there were some sensible tax reforms that deserve an honourable mention.

1. Raise the Roof

The Budget raised the tax-free threshold for the rent-a-room scheme.

This scheme was introduced in 1992 to offer … Read more

A year to change the law

Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister gave a speech about housing. You may have noticed that Shelter had a lot of opinions about that speech…

But amidst the detail on Starter Homes, David Cameron proudly announced that his government are putting an end to revenge eviction:

“What’s more, we are outlawing ‘retaliatory evictions’, so tenants don’t face the prospect of losing their home simply for asking that repairs be made.”

And today, they did just that. The Deregulation BillRead 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

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

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

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