Generation Rent: Why You Can't Buy A Home Or Even Rent A Good One
''The housing crisis is just getting started,' warns Timperley in this important book.' – MARTIN CHILTON, THE INDEPENDENT
'An essential read about a broken housing market.' – PETER APPS, INSIDE HOUSING
‘A lively account of arguably the country’s biggest social and economic problem.’ – MARTIN WOLF, FINANCIAL TIMES
For millions of Britons renting a home privately is the only option. By 2025, more people are expected to rent than own their own homes. Even members of Generation Rent with good jobs and skills have been priced out of the property market.
In this razor-sharp account of how a nation of homeowners gave way to a generation of insecure renters haemorrhaging cash, Chloe Timperley tackles the myths and mysteries belying so many attempts to ‘fix’ Britain’s broken housing market.
She reveals who’s being shafted, who’s cashing in — and the radical steps we must take to give everyone a good home, whether rented or owned.
A fast-paced jaunt around both buying and renting in Britain, Generation Rent is the essential guide to the UK's ruinously expensive property market.
Revealing how the UK came to have runaway house prices, Chloe Timperley dispels the notion held by some older people that the current generation of young people can't buy homes because they are feckless and squander their money on avocado toast.
First, she charts the rise and fall of council housing. From the early 20th Century onwards, high-quality public sector homes provided plentiful affordable homes that mixed social groups well. Then Margaret Thatcher's Right to Buy sold off local authority housing and the number of council homes for rent crashed. Some council estates became known as 'sink estates', killing the municipal dream of post-war planners.
As a result, from the 1980s onwards, more renters in Britain have come to rely on the private rental sector. Backed by generous incentives from successive governments, renting has become a lucrative form of investment and credit has boomed. Buy to Let pensioners and private equity companies have moved into the market, buying up and renting out houses and flats. Most would-be first-time buyers have been outcompeted and priced out.
For those who can afford to buy, Generation Rent reveals that 'entering the kingdom of home ownership' may not be everything they expected, as a result of small properties and huge mortgages. In this concise book, Chloe Timperley tackles the surprising truth about housebuilding, including land agents, housebuilders' profits, and the leasehold trap.
She delves deeply into the world of private rented accommodation. Like Tenants by Vicky Spratt, Generation Rent charts the real problems faced by ordinary tenants, from extortionate rents for fleapits to no-fault evictions. We hear from tenants on the end of harassment from landlords and landladies and who struggle to afford booming rents.
And we get to know those who are about to lose their home through eviction and the causes and extent of homelessness.
But we also hear about housing from the other side - from the small investors who have retreated into renting property amid successive pension scandals. To research the book, the author goes undercover at a Buy to Let conference and landlord seminars.
Generation Rent is for anyone who wants to understand the reality of private renting and the practice and pitfalls of home buying. It's for anyone who wants to know why they can't afford to get on the 'housing ladder' and why rent eats up half their wages.
And it reveals a way out of the mess, rooted in the work of economist Henry George.
About the Author
Chloe Timperley lives in Sheffield. For Generation Rent, she interviewed MPs, economists and activists, went undercover at a property investment conference, joined a tenants’ union, and attended seminars on everything from ending homelessness to evicting tenants. Most importantly, she listened to the stories of hundreds of tenants.
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