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

Rip off renting

Tomorrow, MPs will debate and vote on whether to ban letting fees, as part of the Consumer Rights Bill. Shelter has long called for an end to letting fees, with over 16,000 people joining our campaign since June last year.

For England’s 9 million renters, letting agent fees are just one example of the powerlessness of renting. Something that feels unjust but is so ingrained in how renting works. But we wanted to demonstrate it didn’t need to be this … Read more

Don’t stop at payday lenders

Earlier this week the Treasury showed that it’s now entered the debate on how to help families feeling the squeeze.

George Osborne’s announcement that the government will act to curb the predatory and exploitative actions of the payday lenders will help people struggling to make ends meet, but the Treasury shouldn’t stop there. The colossal interest rates of payday lenders stands out, but the financial hardship caused by other unjust charges must also be addressed.

One industry in need Read more

From all quarters- the pressure builds to end letting fees

Meet Julie, from Watford. When her landlord decided to sell up, she searched for a new home to live in with her young son. She pulled together the deposit and rent in advance, but was suddenly asked to pay seven hundred pounds in letting agency fees. Some more fortunate may have savings to fall back on, but Julie didn’t. Like twenty seven per cent of renters using a letting agency, Julie would’ve had to borrow money or use a loan … Read more

Scotland and parts of Australia have done it, could England be next?

Imagine walking into the Carphone Warehouse or Phones 4 U, looking for a new mobile phone contract. You’d be astonished to be asked for £350 just so the sales assistant could sign you up to Orange, T-Mobile or O2 to get your new contract phone. And you’d rightly question why the cost isn’t part of the monthly bills you’ll pay.

Well, this is what happens every day when someone finds a home to rent through a letting agency.

You’d never … Read more