February 16

Generation Rent: Seize Negligent Landlords’ Properties


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In a compelling move, activists associated with the Generation Rent campaign are amplifying their advocacy for significant city Mayors to confront the challenges posed by landlords who fail to meet acceptable standards. The campaign emphasizes the urgency of addressing the concerns associated with substandard housing conditions by urging Mayors to take bold measures, including the potential seizure of properties owned by landlords deemed as the worst offenders.

Generation Rent aims to spearhead a transformative approach to landlord accountability, urging city leaders to proactively engage in efforts to improve living conditions for tenants. The campaign proposes the establishment of a dedicated “fighting fund,” envisioned as a robust financial resource aimed at supporting the implementation of interim management orders. These orders would empower authorities to assume control over properties owned by landlords who consistently fall short of providing adequate housing standards, thereby fostering a more secure and habitable rental environment for residents. This multifaceted strategy aligns with the campaign’s overarching goal of ensuring the well-being of tenants and promoting a higher standard of housing across major cities.

In a comprehensive briefing tailored for candidates vying for Metro Mayor positions in the imminent elections, Generation Rent emphasizes the pivotal role of successful candidates in ensuring secure, high-quality, and genuinely affordable housing for renters within their city regions. This strategic initiative extends across key areas including the East Midlands, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, London, North East, South Yorkshire, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, and York and North Yorkshire. The briefing serves as a foundational guide for potential mayors, shedding light on crucial measures to prioritize and address the housing needs of the diverse rental population.

Generation Rent’s briefing underscores the significance of housing security and affordability, urging elected mayors to champion policies that create a positive impact on the lives of renters. By providing a detailed roadmap for navigating the intricate challenges of the rental market, the campaign seeks to empower mayoral candidates with the knowledge and insights necessary to effect meaningful change in their respective city regions. The upcoming elections present a unique opportunity for these mayors to shape housing policies that resonate with the needs and aspirations of their constituents, fostering a more inclusive and sustainable rental landscape.


  • Establish a comprehensive database documenting fines and prosecutions for landlords and letting agents;
  • Collaborate with the local police force to eradicate illegal evictions through enhanced police training and accurate incident recording
  • Institute a dedicated fighting fund aimed at addressing issues posed by the most problematic landlords, including the possibility of property seizures;
  • Advocate for increased powers from the national government to regulate rents, expedite development processes, and endorse licensing schemes within your regional jurisdiction;
  • Implement initiatives to acquire privately rented homes, subsequently repurposing them for social tenants, thereby reversing the trend of social housing transitioning into the hands of private landlords;
  • Establish a renters’ forum to actively engage private renters in decisions pertaining to housing and broader initiatives within your purview.


In the aspect concerning property seizures, Generation Rent elaborates to candidates: “Private renters depend on our local authorities to intervene if our homes pose safety risks and landlords neglect to address issues to meet minimum standards. Unfortunately, even when environmental health officers identify hazardous conditions, there is often inadequate action taken to hold landlords accountable.

“This is partly attributed to constrained budgets at the local authority level, diminishing their willingness to impose fines or prosecute landlords who violate regulations or take possession of their properties deemed unfit for habitation. The absence of legal repercussions for rogue landlords emboldens them to persist in exploiting and mistreating tenants. Frequently, these landlords manage portfolios that span multiple local boundaries, making it challenging for any single local authority to independently eradicate their business.”

“Metro Mayors should play a greater role in supporting local authorities, through coordination of enforcement policies, facilitating the sharing of intelligence, and providing institutional support for local authorities considering legal action against criminal landlords. This could include a fund to enable more prosecutions, and the infrastructure to manage homes seized through interim management orders – both of which local authorities lack on their own.” 


Generation Rent, Interim Management Orders, Seize Properties

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