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

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

Britain’s housing shortage: coming to a swing seat near you?

Rising home ownership was once a staple of post-war prosperity. The increasing number of people owning their own home underpinned not only a burgeoning middle class, but a broader sense of optimism about the future.

A basic kind of social contract also emerged: if you worked hard and saved, you could eventually own a home. Today, while private renting remains so insecure and unaffordable, the stability of home ownership will obviously continue to be attractive for many.

Unfortunately, this social … Read more

Our proposal: a better deal for renters

It’s not news to readers of this blog that we’re concerned about how private renting is working for people with no other options open to them.

Some 8.5 million people now rent from a private landlord – more than live in social housing. People on average incomes who would have been able to buy a home a decade ago will take a lot longer to realise that aspiration.

Over the last year we’ve looked at how renting is working – … Read more

Nightmare letting agent stories

At Shelter we regularly come across letting agent nightmare stories.

We’ve heard of tenants being charged £100 just to view a property. Of non-refundable admin fees of £540, and of renters and landlords being double charged for exactly the same service.

In fact, nearly 11 million people have been charged an unfair fee by a letting agent according to a recent YouGov poll for Shelter – that’s 1 in 4 people in Great Britain. Furthermore, three quarters of renters … Read more

Are you a Grend?

Ok, it sounds like an insult, but this was the question asked today in the Times (£). It stands for ‘Graduates Renting, Employed, No Deposit’ – an increasing group of young-ish people priced out of owning a home.

Here at Shelter, we hear from ‘Grends’ all the time – debating with us and one another on Twitter and Facebook, and, more surprisingly, through our helpline and web services. Shelter helps anyone who needs us, and increasingly, many middle-income working … Read more

5 reasons why cutting housing support for young people is a bad move

We’ve just finished watching David Cameron’s major speech on welfare reform. In case you missed it, he is proposing that housing benefit should no longer be available to under 25s. It’s already kicked off a wealth of comment, with Conservative Home asking whether this a bold way to cut down a burgeoning benefits bill, or a political gamble that could ‘re-toxify’ the Conservative brand.

Here are five good reasons why cutting off this support could hold back … Read more

Guest Blog: Renting is the only game in town

There are signs all around that the housing market is changing. I’ve lost count of conversations with friends about how they’d like to buy a place but just can’t. When I walk down my local high street I see a huge number of estate agents but not a lot of choice: homes that are either crazy expensive or have ‘NO DSS!’ signs emblazoned in the windows.

Here, our guest blogger – the excellent Kathleen Kelly – reflects on two pieces … Read more