8.5 million of us now rent our homes – as fewer of us can afford to buy. This generation has been called generation rent.
In this film, we meet the new army of private landlords who are riding this rental boom, who own one in every five properties.
Some landlords like Jim Haliburton AKA ‘The HMO Daddy’ have found there is serious money to be made. His property empire stretches across the West Midlands and he houses around 800 tenants. His property portfolio is worth £26 million.
Many tenants rely on housing benefit to pay the rent. But the government is trying to cut the £26 billion housing benefit bill, and more and more tenants can’t cover the rent. This is what it is really like on the sharp end of the new property divide when times are tough. We follow the tenants who are getting behind and risk losing their homes, and the landlords, amateurs as well as the professionals, who are owed £282 million.
We see landlords struggle to get rid of non-paying tenants, some like first-time landlord Anna have only one property and the arrears means they can no longer cover their mortgage. She’s selling everything she owns while her tenant refuses to budge.
And we follow the story of single mum Nikki, a tenant who’s facing eviction and homelessness despite her diagnosis of cancer. Her landlord has worked out that he can make more money from sub-dividing her home into multi-lets and he wants her out.