The number of renters is on the rise – and with it brings the stories of leaks, landlords and fines.
The Resolution Foundation report found that 40 per cent of young people currently live in private rented properties before they are 30, half of them will still be renting in their 40s and a third doing the same when they collect their pension.
So Generation Rent’s #ventyourrent campaign is an example of how what might have been a momentary annoyance in past years is now a reality for the millions of private renters in the UK.
The pressure group launched their hashtag on Monday (August 20) and have been inundated with responses ranging from exorbitant security deposits for spider webs, collapsing ceilings and more.
Agents told us that damp & mould in the bathroom was caused by a missing ventilator. They offered to make it good. So we took the flat. Soon we found out there was a whole in the wall and the flat was being structurally supported from the outside. Damp returned. #VentYourRent
— Dags (@dags_talks) August 20, 2018
So many incidences to #VentYourRent it's hard to choose…when leaving my place in Cardiff they conducted the final inspection over a month after we had left (they knew it had been empty) and charged us £50 for ONE spiderweb. And that's one of the nicer stories!
— Becca Jones (@pengetoanywhere) August 20, 2018
Maintenance woes also formed a large part of the responses.
Roof leaked onto my bed in the night – builders who sexually harassed me whilst re-doing the tiles managed to make it worse. Landlord tried to blame and charge me for the roof. #ventyourrent
— Amelia (@galdrakinn) August 20, 2018
Forced to move house a couple of years ago after a well known letting agency didn’t deem this collapsed ceiling & flooded living room as uninhabitable. Even deducted from our deposit. #ventyourrent pic.twitter.com/0QhGkh0y9i
— Peter Connell (@Pete_Connell) August 20, 2018
— Melissa Wilson Craw (@MelissaC601) August 20, 2018
The cost of renting was put into perspective by one contributor.
Since i had to leave home at age 16/17 i have calculated i have paid over £100k in rent. Im 33 now and have exactly £0 saved for a deposit due to high rent rates. #VentYourRent
— Jonny Bee #JC9 (@JonnyBeGood84) August 20, 2018
The social media storm comes on the back of Generation Rent’s calls for section 21 orders to be abolished. The Housing Act 1988 order allows landlords to regain possession of their property without supplying a legal reason.
Generation Rent has attracted 50,000 signatures in their bid to halt the order and has released figures on the number of no-fault evictions using the order last year.
The Big Issue magazine is read by an estimated 379,195 people across the UK and circulates 82,294 copies every week.
A total of 6,724 properties were repossessed in London using the accelerated process with councils in the English capital accepting a duty to 5,270 households to be made homeless by the end of a private tenancy.
Outside London, section 21 was used in 5,987 repossessions while 11,070 homelessness cases were linked to the end of a private tenancy – the most common cause of homelessness in the UK. It is affecting 216 households every week.
“The ability of landlords to evict tenants without grounds allows them to cash in their assets and leave wider society to pick up the tab in the form of expensive temporary accommodation, and misery for the people affected,” said Dan Craw of Generation Rent.
“Councils have new responsibilities to prevent homelessness, and the government has just launched a strategy to end rough sleeping, but they have no chance of success if landlords can continue to kick out tenants with impunity. If the government is serious about preventing homelessness it must abolish Section 21.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing said: “We have introduced new measures to stop so-called retaliatory evictions, but we know we need to do more and we are consulting on three-year minimum tenancies.”