Can’t afford to move out of your parents’ place – or sharing an overpriced, grubby, private rental shoebox? Good news – the voices of cash-strapped graduates still living with their parents or renting expensive, poor quality flats are finally being heard.
Housing campaign group Generation Rent has just launched a new Renters’ Manifesto asking politicians to address UK tenants’ biggest concerns. The blueprint explains plans to address these common problems experienced by many of Graduate Fog’s readers:
Crazy prices – Renting is too simply too expensive, with demand for properties seriously outstripping supply, pushing up prices. Many graduates doing low-paid work, unpaid internships or zero-hours contracts are finding it impossible to make ends meet
Massive rent hikes – There is currently no cap on rent increases, and some landlords use big price rises these as a way to push out existing tenants (charming)
Dodgy landlords and letting agents – Tenants are given rigorous reference checks, but private landlords and the agents who let their properties have to do very little to prove they are trustworthy and professional. Why?
Grotty accommodation – Right now, landlords can rent out their properties without certifying that they are safe and free from damp, mould and rats (yuck)
No security – Too many people are renting on short-term contracts when they would prefer to have a longer tenancy
Super-short notice periods – which mean tenant have to undergo the upheaval (and cost) of moving with little or not time to plan or budget
Graduate Fog expects the Renters’ Manifesto to be popular with readers – as you tell us regularly that you hate being financially dependent on your parents. At the launch of the Renters’ Manifesto, Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, said:
“Private renting has hit the political agenda in a a way that hasn’t been seen for a generation.
“Across the UK right now, tenants face eviction from their homes at short notice and for no reason, with little time to work out where they’ll go next. Private renting is poorly regulated and amateur and ignorant landlords cause many of the problems in the sector.
“If anyone can easily set up business as a letting agent with almost no checks or vetting, it is unsurprising that tenants often report bad experiences when trying to rent a home.
Private renters are also finding themselves priced out of areas where they want to live and work. Across much of Britain, particularly London and the South East, many simply cannot afford to pay the rent with the wages they earn. This leads to a spiralling benefits bill, going straight into the pockets of landlords. The whole economy stumbles and falls if people of all incomes and positions cannot live near where they can work.”
The Renters’ Manifesto calls for all political parties to commit to backing a series of simple, sensible plans to make the rental market fairer for tenants, including tougher regulation for landlords and a ban on letting agent fees for tenants (so no more mystery £500 ‘admin’ charges). Knowing that housing is a major concern for our thousands of Graduate Fog’s readers, we will continue to keep you up to date with Generation Rent’s brilliant campaign.
*WHERE ARE YOU LIVING – AND WHAT IS IT LIKE?
What is your top gripe about the private rental market? Are you living with your parents and desperately struggling to save up for a deposit to rent a flat? Or have you had problems with a dodgy landlord?