More than 10% of homes in Kensington and Chelsea are empty ‘most of the time’

Yesterday’s reveal in the Guardian of the big names who own empty homes in Kensington and Chelsea (K&C) is just the latest example of renewed interest in the subject since the Grenfell Fire.

However, looking at the official stats, you might be tempted to wonder whether the problem has been just a little overstated.

While any empty property in the capital is hugely frustrating – given London’s homelessness crisis and the delays in rehousing Grenfell survivors – the official stats Read more

‘Landlord exit’ part 3: it’s time to do something about landlord churn

This is the third of three posts looking at the reasons for, incidence and implications of private landlords leaving the market. Part one used new research to quantify landlord churn; part two what causes it. This part looks at the options for reducing the impact that landlord churn has on tenants.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of private landlords – at least one in ten – leave the market by selling up or moving back into their properties. This forces … Read more

‘Landlord exit’ part 2: is the threat of a landlord exodus real?

This is the second of three posts looking at the reasons for, incidence and implications of private landlords leaving the market. Part one used new research to quantify landlord churn. This post considers what causes it. Part three – to be published tomorrow – will look at the options for reducing the impact that landlord churn has on tenants.

At some point, you are bound to have read a screaming headline warning something like ‘one in 10 landlords will leave Read more

‘Landlord exit’ part 1: more than one in ten landlords leave the market every year

This is the first of three posts looking at the reasons for, incidence and implications of private landlords leaving the market. This part will use new research to quantify landlord churn. Part two – to be published tomorrow – will consider what causes it. Part three will look at the options for reducing the impact that landlord churn has on tenants.

For a long time, landlord churn – the rate that landlords enter and leave the market – has been … Read more

How much are the homes from Location, Location, Location episode 1 worth now?
How much are the homes from Location, Location, Location episode 1 worth now?

It’s hard to believe that Kirstie and Phil started presenting Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location way back in May 2000.

The first episode is well-worth a watch. Watch it to chuckle at the dated fashions and dodgy camerawork, if you must. But the main attraction is, of course, how unbelievably cheap all the properties are.

So as an experiment we tracked them all down to find out how much they are worth now.

The results are mind-boggling.

Inflation, inflation, Read more
Are private rents in England going up or down?

Some newspapers have got very excited recently about reports that private rents in England are dropping.

With many private renters struggling to make ends meet, anything that makes renting more affordable would be exceptionally welcome. But does this mean England’s affordability crisis is over? Unfortunately not.

Are private rents actually falling?

It depends who you believe…

Down: In April, estate agent group Countrywide reported that rents across Great Britain had fallen in the year to March 2017 by 0.3% Mixed:Read more
Rental fraud – a quarter of a million fall victim in the last five years
What is rental fraud?

Rental fraud usually follows a similar pattern: someone posing as a landlord or letting agent shows a prospective tenant around a property. When the person looking at the property says they like it, the purported landlord/agent asks them to pay an immediate up-front holding deposit (a sum that is often taken to reserve a property in advance of referencing, signing contracts, etc.) often in cash.

The prospective tenant pays the sum (which can be several hundred … Read more

Why private renters in England worry about losing their home

In England, a shocking three in ten private renters worried about losing their home in the last year. Shelter’s John Bibby finds out why.

So, why would three in ten private renters in England have worried about losing their home? High or increasing rent costs? Perhaps, but our research shows even private renters who aren’t struggling to pay their rent are worrying about losing their home.

In fact, the leading reasons tenants give don’t relate to being able to pay … Read more

Selective licensing in Newham: a local scheme of national significance

When Newham Council introduced the first borough-wide licensing scheme in 2013, it looked like a novel way to improve their booming private rented sector.

While licensing powers were originally introduced in the mid-2000s as a targeted tool to tackle anti-social behaviour, Newham’s ambition was much bigger. They adopted a borough wide scheme to integrate licensing with their other environmental health powers and crack down on rogue landlords and poor conditions too.

It’s an approach that has got results. In the … Read more

Insecure private renting leaves families worried and unsettled. Let’s fix it

Private renting in England is exceptionally insecure. After the end of a typical six or twelve month contract, renters have no guarantee that their landlord will renew their tenancy or whether they will be asked to leave.

As a result, renters worry about losing their home and are put under financial strain by frequent moves. Ultimately renting insecurity is helping to fuel rising homelessness – and loss of a private rented tenancy is now the leading cause of homelessness.

This … Read more

Government promises more security for renters. Should we believe the hype?

We have long been campaigning for private renters to get more security from eviction, so they can make their house or flat a proper home.

So, on the face of it, the government’s promise that the changes in today’s Housing White Paper “will help renters have the security they need to be able to plan for the future” is great news. It follows on from the announcement of the letting fees ban, focussing on the concerns and … Read more

5 maps that show you just how bad the 2015/16 affordable housing stats are

Affordable house building fell by more than half last year, the 2015/16 statistics show. But if that wasn’t bad enough, things get even worse when you dig down into the detail and look at how this affects different parts of the country. These five maps below should help you get a comprehensive grip of quite how terrible 2015/16 was for affordable house building.

Total slump in affordable house building

The headline news – a 52% reduction in new affordable … Read more