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Nationalise private rental homes, demands new manifesto

A collection of pressure groups, fronted by Generation Rent, wants all private rental homes going on sale to be offered first to councils or “community-led housing schemes.”

The groups are Generation Rent, New Economics Foundation, direct action advocates Acorn, plus the London Renters Union and Greater Manchester Tenants Union. And their spokesperson is Conor O'Shea, the policy and public affairs director at Generation Rent.

The groups have set out a manifesto calling for rent controls, an end to no-fault evictions, open-ended tenancies, tougher action on landlords with unsafe properties, tenancy reforms and - perhaps most controversially - bringing privately owned homes into public ownership.


The demands have been made on the eve of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool and include:

- A clear commitment to giving local authorities and community-led housing schemes first refusal on private rented properties entering the market to buy them into public ownership;

- An end to Section 21 evictions and, where landlords are allowed to get back their properties, relocation payments for tenants;

- Any landlord selling must sell with a sitting tenant if they wish to stay; and all tenants must have an unspecified right to defend themselves against an eviction with access to legal aid;

- Even lodgers and licensees should have stronger legal protections against evictions;

- All tenancies should be open-ended for all tenants “so they can leave when they need to and can expect to stay as long as they like”;

- No one should have to spend more than 30 per cent of their income on rent, with controls that bring rents down and maintain them at this level;

- There should be mandatory national registration of all private landlords, agents, and rented properties;

- All rented homes should be brought up to an EPC C or above, enforced by councils, with tenants entitled to claim rent back on homes that are not energy efficient;

- Tenants should have the right to decorate their homes and have pets, and “cosmetic alterations and redecorating should not count towards deposit deductions”;

- Local Housing Allowance must be unfrozen and “made immediately available to any tenant when they need to claim this”;

- End Right to Rent and nationality requirements for social housing. There should be no immigration checks in licensing or enforcement regimes;

- More specific provisions (which are not specified in the manifesto) for “LGBTQ+ people, those with mental health and learning disabilities, people with physical disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, migrant communities, asylum seekers and marginalised racial or ethnic groups (including People of Colour, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people)”;

- Tenant unions should be consulted proactively by the government “and given a seat at the table when making decisions that will affect renters”;

- End Right To Buy and “government investment in a huge public house building programme that should aim to deliver 3.1m council homes over 20 years”;

- Holiday lets and short term lets must be “licensed and limited”. 

Generation Rent's O'Shea says: “It’s clear Britain needs more homes but simply supporting developers to build lots of expensive market-rate housing won’t bring housing costs down to affordable levels for the millions of people trapped in poverty by sky-high rents. What renters really need is an ambitious public housing building program that delivers 3.1m council homes over 20 years and urgent action to fix the wild west private rented sector.”

“Britain’s 13m renters still face the constant threat of eviction, record rent rises and unsafe conditions. Our rigged housing system is a key cause of inequality.” 

“From Newcastle to Newham, all of us deserve an affordable home where we can live a good life with dignity. Promises to ramp up house building will take many years to deliver and people stuck in the private rented sector in the here and now urgently need proper protections from unfair eviction, eye-watering rent rises and dangerous disrepair. 

“Politicians across all parties are failing to tackle the power imbalance between landlords and tenants. They must listen to renters or risk deepening the crisis further.”

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  • George Dawes

    Makes sense if you’re the kind of person who wears a strait jacket instead of a jumper

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    The above - Ain’t worth a comment. 😜

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    It’s about time the outrageous Lies, Myths and Misrepresentations by Media, Private Sector Charities and Anti-Landlords Organisations was put to Bed.
    Many Rents are so Cheap and Affordable but never hit the head lines.
    I have first hand information from previous occupants now staying in dog rough Hostel 6 to a Room for what’s supposed to be dirt cheap @ £16.00 per night x 30 = £480.00 pm.
    Right compare this to one of my Semi-Detached 4 bedroom, 6 person HMO’s Licensed Houses Fully Furnished and Compliant in London for £1’600.00 pm.
    So £1600. pm divided 6 = £267.00 per month each as apposed to staying in a rough Hostel costing £480.00 pm.
    There you have the Facts.
    6 persons have a whole Furnished House with garden and parking in this comparison for £1600.00 pm.
    Hostel 6 persons sharing One Room £480. each pm = £2’880.pm.
    £2’880.00 minus £1’600.00 = £1’280.00.
    So we are £1’280.00.pm Cheaper than the Cheapest Hostel in London, anyway you look at it, knock off for C/tax etc we are still probably £10’000.00 pa cheaper than the Hostel.
    Someone owes us a Sincere Apology.
    We are not Rogue Landlords at all but might be rightly accused of being Qualified Stupid.
    Have a nice day. M FOLEY.

  • Fed Up Landlord

    Ah Gent Rant and Acyawn off again. More and more whining means less and less properties. You think they would get that. But class war " warriors" rarely or never do.


    Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them.

  • John  Bentley

    It's good to start the day with a laugh!

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    Just when I thought I had heard everything 🤣

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    The problem with these groups is that they don't respect the rights of other people, and in particular, they don't understand that a contract is an instrument detailing the rights and obligations of both parties and that both parties have to be in agreement with the terms, and they don't understand that owners of property have the right to dispose of their property as they choose.

    The plight of tenants is so much worse because they keep placing such heavy burdens on landlords, many of whom are elderly, with the result that there will be no property available for them at all to rent at any price. Local authorities don't have the money to buy up huge numbers of properties to provide for them, and nor is the money available for huge amounts of local housing allowance for fit, young people.

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    They miss the crucial point that Councils don't want to buy or run houses from the PRS.


    In Norfolk councils have been handing over their housing stock to Housing associations, now those self same housing associations are busy selling those old council houses off in local property auctions because they are finding it impossible to maintain and manage them, laughable

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    My local council can buy all my properties off me tomorrow, so long as they pay market price and pay my costs for selling.

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    G E. Go and live on the moon.

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    It's a myth that council owned and housing association properties are better maintained or cheaper than privately owned ones. This is borne out by published reports and I find it incredible that Gen rent don't know this when the information is freely available. When tenant problems hit the news my heart sinks because it will reflect badly on landlords but then it turns out a council or HA is at fault and this is often obscured in the reporting.


    In our local paper, there are plenty of examples of tenants that are living in damp ridden homes and guess what, they are all run by a Housing Association.

  • Fery  Lavassani

    "Any landlord selling must sell with a sitting tenant". Bless them, at last they said what they are after. Abolition of Section 21 + Open Ended Tenancies + Rent Cap = Return to Rent Acts 1977(sitting tenants). Are these people real?

    • A JR
    • 06 October 2023 09:09 AM

    Spot on.


    Yes, and if all these ideas were implemented no one would rent properties.

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    Has a dead body ever been found in a private rented property after 3 years? No …. There’s your answer to this load of twaddle!

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    They forget, too, how much tax landlords pay. It will be a big loss for the country when all landlords sell up.


    Not so sure about this one, you would think long term yes as lost income tax and VAT on agent fees. But where are LL going to reinvest their money tax free? Also a great short term gain (and we know government only think short term) - Capital Gains Tax, VAT on selling and buying fees and stamp duty paid by the new buyer

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    They missed a three course meal with a bottle of wine each evening to be included in the rent, together with a full English breakfast. Landlord responsible for washing up obviously.


    Actually, if we provided that, they wouldn't have any rights at all.


    That would be going back to how I started. My first time as a landlord I bought a big old Victorian house to live in and the previous owner asked if I wanted to keep her lodgers. Lovely young men was how she described them. It turned out it was a DSS B&B and the occupants were young offenders referred by the Probation Service.

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    Agreed Ellie, going back to the 70s I knew A landlord that paid a milkman to deliver milk to his properties he also supplied boxes Cornflakes therby suppling breakfasts, and a weekly cleaner,

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    What planet are these people living on?

    I bought a house a few years ago and after my offer was accepted the local council had to be offered the house at the same price and they refused to buy it. For them to buy it now, it will be an extra 50k. I don't seem them offering to buy it when I sell.

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    Ellie, is bang on the money landlords pay Billions in taxes & licensing Schemes for that matter so how do they replace all those Billions, pay for maintenance that the landlord does now. Plus they’ll have to keep all the free loaders and Single parents that they put in there as apposed the many working Tenants previously in occupied contributing to the economy.
    Also if they buy a Property with Tenant’s in there it won’t be available to house any one else. So. What is the point of that.

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    Conner O'shea should take a look at what has happened to th erental market in Ireland after the government took control. There are now whole counties that have no rental houses on offer, not just talking about cities, the entire counties... I was planning to buy 2 more houses in the next 12 months but now my money will be going into high interest rate bank accounts. better return and less headache than a rental,


    Why not put into gold via the Bullion Vault. When I have significant sums not invested I don't want it sat in a bank/bond/ money market account. Reset possible around the corner.

  • John  Adams

    While these funded fools have sway over Labour, Labour needs to think long and hard as to what or whom is funding them and the consequences of that further down the line.
    The oily lot that block the roads have been funded allegedly by Ecotricity founder, but we know that China and Russia are actively involved in what goes on at TikTok and the manipulation of content to the west.
    Labour could well find itself in hock again to foreign powers as has happened with the old Soviet Union and the left of the party.


    Who controls Ecotricity? We can follow the money.


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