Coffee House

‘Generation Rent’ policy is first victory for Number 10 policy board

1 October 2013

When the Number 10 policy board was formed, many dismissed it as a sop to angry backbenchers that would have no real power. It lost one of its biggest figures, Jesse Norman, after the Syria vote, and I reported a few weeks ago that there were concerns the members weren’t gelling all that well. But today, buried in Eric Pickles’ speech to conference, was a line that represented the first solid policy from the board. Pickles said:

‘We are supporting new family-friendly tenancies in the private rented sector.’

Some listening might have missed this, but Coffee Housers will recognise the policy, because we first reported it last year. It was first proposed in a briefing paper to Number 10 by Jake Berry, who was then just a lowly PPS, and is now a member of the policy board.

Berry’s idea was a ‘New Deal for Generation Rent’, and he also wrote about this for us in January. He wanted longer-term tenancies to help families stay in the same home, rather than having to up sticks and even move schools when the landlord raised the rent or decided to end the tenancy. He has been working on the ideas since joining the board, and is now celebrating seeing them move into official government policy. Under a new ‘tenants’ charter’, families will be able to request longer tenancies from their landlords. It’s a good example of one of the little things that the Tories need to be making a song and dance about to show that they care about hardworking families, but it’s also an example of the policy board starting to do its job.

Give the perfect gift this Christmas. Buy a subscription for a friend for just £75 and you’ll receive a free gift too. Buy now.

Show comments
  • whs1954

    Now, why isn’t this getting trumpeted and talked about as much as Miliband’s energy pledge? Perhaps because the left-wing bits of the media have the intelligence not to talk about their opponents’ popular policies, whereas the right-wing bits were happy to trumpet Miliband from the rooftops in their counter-productive attempt to trash him.

    • Alan

      “Berry’s idea was a ‘New Deal for Generation
      Rent’, and he also wrote about this for us in January. He wanted longer-term
      tenancies to help families stay in the same home, rather than having to up
      sticks and even move schools when the landlord raised the rent or decided to
      end the tenancy.” Of course when you have a family you need stability, to know that you can live in the
      house, pay for it every month and don’t worry about nothing. When suddenly the
      landlords rise the price you are to find another place, other school, that can
      be very stressful….Fixed monthly fee solves all the problems, long-term
      rental is a win-win solution for young families. We rented so many apartments,
      changed a lot of landlords who wanted to make the price bigger, luckily
      we found what we wanted. If someone needs an apartment for a long
      term look here
      I just recommend it because it helped us

  • Thor fenris

    The while idea is terrible. Tenants can always leave at any time because it is uneconomical to try and chase them down to make them pay up whilst anything can be enforced against landlords. Why would we be locked into 5 year contracts and not be able to keep up with market rates?

  • khards

    I will believe it when pickles goes on a diet!

  • Alexsandr

    As others have said, longer tenancies are OK, but you need to be able to evict a bad tenant earlier.
    Probably need to look at the activities of the leaseholders of leasehold properties (Those where one person owns the house and someone else own the land )

    • telemachus

      Probably appropriate in a week when we are inundated by tales of Stephen Ward that our right wing posters should Return to the philosophies of Peter Rachman
      In your case I would Not be at all surprised if you put up a sign saying “No Irish or West Indians”

      • Alexsandr

        were you given a stock of random rants in a spreadsheet that you can copy and paste in here just to look ‘clever’ You clearly have not thought about what you post or you would not post such offensive inaccurate idiotic tripe. Does Mummy know what you are doing, you spawny eyed wazzock?

        • telemachus

          So you do not care about the social consequences to families on being turned out onto the street on the supposed whim of the landlord who declares them bad
          If you deny this pray just who does decide a tenant is bad?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Ah, a different telemachus who writes in a very different style.

            Where is your asterisk?

            • telemachus

              No Nicholas
              The very same that was created by yourself, AWK and Verity in response to written intolerance in the heady days of Pete Hoskins wall
              The one who needed to show you the five principles by which to live life
              The one whose only Party allegence has been to my great friend the Chancellor of Liverpool University’s party
              The one who understands that if you are killed by a German bullet the likelihood is that younwerevkilled by a German, particularly if Another 22000 in the same Forrest are riddled with German bullets
              In short, the reasonable face of political blogging

          • Hexhamgeezer

            Yes, lets take action against those guilty of renticide.

            What a winker

          • Thor fenris

            If they pay no rent then they should be evicted..end of,

          • Alexsandr

            the courts. Just needs to be speeded up.

            not every landlord is rackman. But I manage a property for an elderly relative. I need the income to fund her care. So you would put the rights of a tenant who doesnt pay and trashed the property over an old ladies care, would you?

        • Ian Walker

          Thanks for the laugh – I haven’t heard ‘wazzock’ for many a year!

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Smeary sneery smelly troll

        • telemachus

          I see the Vicar teaches alliteration

      • HookesLaw

        Your usual load of cr@p garbage.

      • Thor fenris

        Is that your considered opinion that being able to evict bad tenenats who pay no rent is being ‘peter rachman’

        • telemachus

          Alexandra’s point was to throw them out onto the street without a by your leave at the drop of a hat without thought of help and for reasons other than rent arrears
          As happens daily in Tower Hamlets

          • Alexsandr

            where did i say that?

  • monty61

    Hopefully the start of wholesale reform of the rented sector which will include German style tenants’ rights (balanced by measures to throw out troublemakers), long-term tenancies by default, limits (as a multiple of rents, say) on what letting agencies can charge (these are currently unregulated and out of control) as well as a proper register of landlords, not least for tax purposes (they are currently getting off with billions).

    Otherwise it’s just hot air.

  • Mark Alexander

    Of course good landlords want good long term tenants, it makes economic sense.

    We also need help to get the bad ones out quickly though if we are to offer long term tenancies. Bad payers can easily live rent free for upwards of 5 months and that simply isn’t an acceptable business risk.

    What Mt Pickles seems to have overlooked is that the terms of the head leases for most flats do not permit letting on contracts for more than 12 months and neither do the T&C’s of most BTL mortgages.

    I have been using a “Deed of Assurance” (Google it) for a few years now and relationships with my tenants have never been better. The Deed of Assurance strikes the perfect balance of fairness, i.e. good tenants get a fair deal and peace of mind without being tied into a long term arrangement whilst the landlord is spared from breaching any T&C’s.

    • HookesLaw

      Fair points. landlords are important to the economic well being and flexibility of our nation.

      It is though possible isn’t it for BTL to be more than 12 months, you can for instance have a 6 month break clause and two months notice, either side. the lenders are amenable within a certain framework.

      But is not the point of this announcement to make these things more possible against the backdrop you allude to? And given your points we should await with interest what actually comes out.

      • Mark Alexander

        Words used such as “giving tenants the right to demand” fill me with trepidation as opposed to interest.

  • HookesLaw

    It seems a not unreasonable measure. Being able to request a longer tenancy does not mean it will be granted or granted on the same terms as otherwise. If a tenant is a good tenant and looking after the house I do not see landlords falling over themselves to chuck them out.

    • Alex

      So why does it need any change? I can already request a longer tenancy without Pickles help.

      • HookesLaw

        I agree. I suspect maybe the full details have not been explained by the press. It seems to me the longer deal would require some different terms to the standard one.
        there is nothing wrong with making it more straight forward for people to be assured they can rent for a long period in the same property. But a property would need looking after during that time and ought to receive proper maintensance.
        The landlord who owns the house next to me is spending some rental downtime on some considedrable maintenance. Don’t tell the leftoies, but thats what landlords do.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here