Fitness for Human Habitation: An early Christmas present for renters
Fitness for Human Habitation: An early Christmas present for renters

Renters received a welcome Christmas present today, as the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill finally completed its journey through parliament. Let’s unwrap it…

The Bill revives legislation requiring homes to be ‘fit for human habitation’ at the start of the tenancy and to remain so throughout. Extraordinarily, this is a not a protection currently enjoyed by any renter – social or private – in England. Although landlords have responsibilities to do repairs, there are some glaring omissions – including, for … Read more

Stop DSS Discrimination: Live blog
Stop DSS Discrimination: Live blog
This blog rounds-up everything we’re doing in the fight to end DSS discrimination.

Shelter is campaigning against discrimination faced by renters receiving housing benefit. So-called ‘no DSS’ policies are unfairly locking hundreds of thousands of people out of homes they could otherwise afford, pushing them closer to homelessness. You can join our campaign here.

Stop by this blog regularly for the latest updates on the campaign!

18 December: NatWest submission

We made a submission to NatWest’s review of their … Read more

DSS discrimination: campaign update
DSS discrimination: campaign update

Shelter supporters are a powerful bunch.

Since we launched our campaign against DSS discrimination in August, they’ve acted en mass. Thousands have emailed, tweeted and called Ludlow Thompson, a leading letting agent, to demand that they stamp out discrimination against renters on housing benefit

Our joint investigation with the National Housing Federation suggested that Ludlow Thompson were frequently banning renters on housing benefit from homes they let. In response to the investigation, Ludlow told us that it was not company Read more

Challenging DSS discrimination at NatWest
Challenging DSS discrimination at NatWest

For the last two months we’ve been leading the fight against ‘DSS discrimination’, where renters receiving housing benefit are unfairly banned from renting homes they could afford. This prejudice isn’t just wrong – we also think it’s unlawful.

The campaign kicked off with the results of our joint investigation with the National Housing Federation into housing benefit bans in the lettings industry. This suggested that several leading letting agents are turning people on benefits away.

We’ve written to the Read more

How much?! Your top 10 worst letting fees
How much?! Your top 10 worst letting fees

There’s something to celebrate for private renters: the government’s hotly anticipated ban on letting fees is approaching its second reading. Because for too long, renters have been ripped off – shelling out £272 per person (on average) in fees. Together with our supporters, we’ve campaigned for years to stop this, so we’re delighted to see the government taking action through the Tenant Fees Bill.

Letting agents, and some landlords, aren’t quite so jubilant. Their days of charging outrageous fees are … Read more

The Tricorn House Mystery. Shelter investigates...

Fed up of that derelict, empty eyesore in the town centre? Puzzled by the half-built building round the corner? Mystified by the empty plot of land along the main road?

You’re not alone. These are common sights up and down the country. In every village, town and city there’s land going to waste. Land that could be used for homes.

In England we’re not building enough homes, and haven’t for a generation. It’s at the heart of every housing problem … Read more

Slowly but surely, we're winning

The UK may still be in the grip of a housing crisis, but slowly things are changing.

Housing was fringe issue at the 2010 General Election, but by 2015 it was a top 4 concern. Shelter campaigned hard to push it up the political agenda, and now it’s here to stay, with politicians of all parties making big commitments on housing in 2017.

There are real opportunities for change, and we’ll be ready to make it happen. In the … Read more

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

Ghostly goings-on in the rental market

In the spirit of Halloween, here’s a chilling ghost story…

Recently we were contacted by a worried home owner. Her house wasn’t haunted. But she had spotted her flat advertised for rent on Zoopla, despite currently living in the property with no plans to rent it out.

A letting agent had listed the property without permission from the owner.

It also appeared that the agent had been advertising other owner-occupied flats in the block for rent, without their owners’ consent.… Read more

Meeting your MP in 5 simple steps

As part of our campaign to secure investment in affordable homes, we’re asking our supporters to meet their MP. Here’s our step-by-step guide to doing it:

Find out who your MP is Just put your postcode in at

Arrange the meeting

You don’t have to travel to Westminster! In fact, you won’t have to travel far at all. MPs usually hold ‘surgeries’ or appointments with their constituents on Fridays or the weekend. The meetings last around 10-15 minutes.

To … Read more

Do transparent fees mean better renting?

Amid the pomp and ceremony of the Queens Speech on Wednesday, you may have missed the rather more low key news that a key part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into effect. But this was actually very good news for 11 million renters, and a big win for Shelter’s campaign to improve private renting.

Under the new legislation all letting agents are required to publish full details of their fees, both online and prominently in their offices. Dishonest … Read more

Does business have a responsibility to support its employees with housing?

This blog was originally published as part of the The Great Business Debate. Visit the website to see the original post and join the debate.

The days of employers building houses for their workforce are long gone. Purpose built developments, such as George Cadbury’s Bourneville, are consigned to the past. But today, employees need support from their employers with housing more than ever.

We are in the midst of a housing crisis. The repeated failure of governments to build … Read more