Generation Rent has joined forces with five local authorities to help private tenants stand up for their rental rights and get tough on rogue landlords.

It is partnering with Dundee City Council, East Suffolk Council, Gedling Borough Council, London borough of Newham, and Newport City Council to find ways the councils can be more responsive to issues and concerns, and to develop policies to better support renters, such as through enforcement or landlord licensing.

It says that while many councils around the country have landlord forums, very few have formal structures to hear from private renters.

Councils have powers to tackle unsafe homes but, according to a Survation poll, when asked what they would do if their home felt unfit to live in, private renters were more likely to try to find somewhere else to live (44%) than seek the council’s help (35%).

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Alicia Kennedy (pictured, top), director of Generation Rent, says: “These local authorities have recognised the important role councils play in supporting private renters, and now want to improve the way they represent and engage private renters.

“We hope this joint work will develop new models of engagement that can be shared and built upon by other local authorities.”

Key issues

Gedling Council aims to gain a better understanding of the key issues private renters are facing, says council leader John Clarke: “We’re already working with landlords on this through our selective licensing scheme, but it’s vital that we also engage with residents who are renting these properties, to get their views and plan how we can improve our services for them.”

Renters in these areas are being asked to take part in an online survey to share their renting experiences in the project which is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

Read more about Generation Rent.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Generation rent helping tenants lose their tenancies . There is no excuse for poor landlords but this continual narrative that renters are these hard done by exploited minority is just wrong. When tenants start making lives difficult for reasonable landlords ” egged on” by GR and Shelter etc they just in reality make themselves unattractive as tenants. They’ll end up being replaced by better more reasonable people and in the current market where finding tenants isn’t difficult this is a sure way to get worse not better living conditions

  2. Your headline is misleading. I was not aware that Generation Rent is a charity. It is not registered with the Charities Commission.

    • Generation Rent is the operating name of the National Private Tenants Organisation Limited.

      We are a Company Limited By Guarantee, registration number 08731888.

      That was taken directly off their website so it seems Landlord zone ought to issue a correction or clarify the position at the very least.

      By giving free publicity to some of these organisations I sometimes wonder who’s side landlord zone are on???

      • thanks RWS and Dave – I understood that Generation Rent, like other campaigning organisations, was a charity – but indeed they are a ‘campaign’ underpinned by a Limited Company. I have amended the headline accordingly. As to your point Dave about giving Generation Rent ‘free publicity’ this is a report from a council meeting – I think it’s important landlords understand what organisations like Generation Rent and Shelter are up to within the private rented sector, even if readers may not like what they are up to! Nigel – Editor, LZ

        • Thank you for the prompt reply… I accept your point about letting landlords know “what organisations like Generation Rent and Shelter are up to within the private rented sector”

          It is a dichotomy that in order to publicise such activities it kind of gives and air of legitimacy to organisations through regular media appearances they gradually become “Part of the scene” so to speak.

        • If you’re writing an article on the premise that you are someone who knows what they are talking about then surely you should do your basic due diligence & find out about the organisations you are writing about before you publish an article. Saying that you thought Generation Rent was a charity just shows ignorance in my opinion.
          Like you say, you “think it’s important landlords understand what organisations like Generation Rent and Shelter are up to within the private rented sector” but isn’t it also important that landlords should understand what these organisations actually are?

          It’s like when I keep seeing these rogues selling their property seminars being written about being called property gurus by Landlord Zone when in fact they are not gurus but con men being given an air of authenticity by labelling them a guru. Facts are what matters. Nothing but facts please.

  3. If local councils supported landlords too that would be great and fair. There are two parties in renting and letting – one party rents and the other lets. To support one party and not the other is not only unfair, but more likely to lead to landlords, I should say ‘even more landlords’, leaving the sector, and the most disadvantaged tenants unable to rent from the PRS because not only are they the most risky, but have the support of groups and councils against the landlord when they don’t keep to their part of the tenancy agreement.

    Could local councils offer support to landlords whose tenants are refusing to pay rent, or who do ASB, leave piles of rubbish, trash the place etc.?

    If local councils supported landlords then landlords would be more able and more willing to support tenants.

    My HMO is part of a licenced scheme but when I had a problem with a tenant who caused overcrowding, I got no support from my council so how licensing is an advantage to landlords completely escapes me. It didn’t help the other tenants in my HMO either. I get nothing for my extortionate licence fee. Neither do my tenants – well apart from they get an increase in rent of £5 per week.

  4. When did local councils start using pressure groups to help them do the jobs they are supposed to do themselves?
    It sounds as if GR will simply waste council officers time telling them what they are supposed to already know – they can use existing powers to deal with bad landlords. Or perhaps it will help officers to produce more useless housing strategies full of fine words and little action.
    Or will GR be ‘investigating’? Is there a risk of ‘vigilantism’?
    Berlingogirl is spot-on; where is the fairness?

  5. Much of this is “Deflection” by failing councils… by shifting the focus onto so called rogue landlords they take the spotlight off themselves…

    I lived in London for over 30 years and the housing stock in Newham is frankly appalling and the council is acutely aware of huge overcrowding issues but does nothing about it other than issuing vague platitudes.

    The taxpayers money would be better spent getting their own housing in order before trying to deflect blame onto the PRS.

    • The reason the Council does nothing in Newham is obvious.

      All to do with those who reside there.

      Few of whom are white British.

      That tells you everything.

      One rule for them and one for white British which is why ‘white flight’ continues apace.

      Many of us have been part of that ‘white flight’

      We sincerely home that we AREN’T followed by the denziens of Newham to our escape areas from them.

      • When the running stops.. The civil war will begin.

        Totally agree about the duplicity of govt and the way it treats different sectors in society… Everyone knows that the worst abuses in the PRS are first generation migrants exploiting second generation migrants… Beds is sheds is rife in Boroughs like Ealing…. But authorities turn a blind eye whilst constantly tightening the noose on hardworking, respectable property investors.

        just as the average motorists pays 20% extra on car insurance because of cash for crash scammers and shoppers pay higher costs because of shoplifters while courts do nothing but give an asbo whilst some landlords have tenants ripping them off for thousands and the eviction ban prevents them from taking action.

  6. The thing people need to remember is that landlords have an asset that can be taken if they fail to pay, so hitting them with fines etc, will ultimately reward them with money, or in extreme cases a repo on the property.

    As for Generation Rent, they can demand all they like, but renters who champion these organisations need to understand the knock on effect, which is a higher rent.

    Its all very well demanding top quality properties to live in, but I am not sure they will enjoy the top quality rent that will come with it to keep it in such order.

    My biggest problem with the council, is their complete lack/refusal of understanding of bad tenants.

    My final point is, if Generation Rent, Shelter and all these other charities that tell Landlords how they should run their properties, perhaps they should buy some housing stock, become housing associations, and they can deal with first hand what many landlords have to put up with at the moment.

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