First-time renter? Here's what you need to know
First-time renter? Here's what you need to know

Renting your own place can be really exciting, but sometimes things can go wrong. Here’s a round-up of some of the most common questions we get asked about renting with a private landlord.

And just to say that this post relates to assured shorthold tenancies (AST), the most common type of tenancy if you rent from a private landlord. If you have a different type of agreement, or you don’t know, use our Tenancy Rights Checker to find the … Read more

How technology is changing the way Shelter tackles homelessness

At Shelter, our goal is to help people deal with bad housing and homelessness. We help people stay in the home they’ve got or, if they have lost their tenancy, to find a new one. And we want to ensure that people are living in safe and secure homes, so we help them understand their rights to improve poor conditions and, if necessary, challenge rogue landlords.

We do this through a combination of a free national helpline, digital advice, face-to-face … Read more

Proving our worth

68,500 people. That’s huge.

If you’ve been following the World Athletics Championships, imagine every seat in the Olympic stadium taken up by someone who has a story to tell about how Shelter changed their lives in 2016/17.

That’s what we did, and do: we change lives, and now we can prove it.   

We’re not satisfied with feeling it in our bones, we want hard facts and figures to prove our impact, and learn from them.

Our Impact

Our first ever … Read more

How can we ensure the move to digital services doesn’t leave people behind?

Government is going digital, and spawning a host of new terminology along the way, from ‘e-government’ to ‘digital inclusion’.

I’m sure that by now you’ll have heard the digital buzz terms ‘assisted digital’ and ‘digital skills’, and probably know what they mean.

But just in case you’re relatively new to the digital agenda, as I am, ‘assisted digital’ is the government’s way of talking about the support some people will need to access public services online – like filling in … Read more

A more credible and efficient legal aid system?

The dust had barely settled on the last round of cuts to legal aid before the Government announced plans to reduce the budget yet further.

The new proposals include limitations on funding for judicial review cases, a key mechanism for challenging the lawfulness of decisions or actions of public bodies.

The majority of judicial review cases Shelter undertakes are where local authorities have refused to help a homeless person.

We often encounter families who have been denied support and … Read more

Going digital by default

Civil servants gathered last week at Sprint 13 to discuss the digital transformation of Government. They have 400 days to deliver a radical change, including implementation of the Government Digital Strategy. The aim is to create ‘digital services so good that people prefer to use them’.

We welcomed the publication of the Strategy last November, in particular the way in which it committed to developing both excellent digital services and ‘assisted digital’ provision for those who are offline.

At … Read more

The new Government Digital Strategy

So, it’s out – the new Government Digital Strategy, published yesterday. It’s the fruit of many months of work at Government Digital Service (GDS), working out how to deliver the Government’s commitment to become ‘digital by default’ in its delivery of services.

This content of this strategy is highly relevant to us at Shelter. As a major provider of housing advice nationally, we deliver services across all channels: we have an excellent digital offer alongside equally excellent telephone … Read more

Has the LIBOR scandal caused repossessions?

If you hadn’t heard of LIBOR at the start of last week, chances are that you have by now. MPs are grilling former banking boss Bob Diamond as I type!

This key interest rate is a measure of how much it would cost banks to borrow from each other. It is used as a benchmark interest rate for trillions of pounds of financial transactions around the world, and last week the FSA fined Barclays for attempting to manipulate it.

Mortgage … Read more

Channel shift?

Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox has launched Go-ON UK, the new campaign to increase our digital literacy. It picks up the baton from Race Online 2012, which has helped reduce the number of people in the UK who have never used the internet.

This is very good news. Afterall, with advances in technology moving at such a pace, those without the skills, confidence or opportunities to use the net face being left way behind. Digital exclusion will matter … Read more

Telephone gateway – or barrier?

A fortnight ago the Legal Aid, Punishment and Sentencing of Offenders Act received Royal Assent. It’s just 18 months since the legal aid reforms were first put forward by the Ministry of Justice. Since then, the Government has succeeded in making dramatic changes to the legal aid system.

Not only has the scope of legal aid been cut but the way it’s delivered will now change.

Those in need of legal advice, but unable to pay for it, will no … Read more