Labour Research May 2016


The rent trap

How we fell into it and how we get out of it

Rosie Walker and Samir Jeraj, Left Book Club, 176 pages, £12.99

Housing has fast become one of the major issues affecting people across Britain — and there seems to be a growing mood for a fight. The rent trap is a detailed and engaging attempt to articulate that mood alongside an investigation into just how badly ordinary people are being treated. 

There are plenty of horror stories to be found — poverty enforced by increasingly high rent; unsafe homes; and underfunded councils unable to cope with ever-diminishing budgets. Not to mention the landlords unwilling to provide tenants with basic repairs, mould treatment or even running water. 

Walker and Jeraj offer a critical account of what is really going on in the private rented sector and expose the powers which are conspiring to oppose regulation. 

A quarter of British MPs are landlords, snap evictions are rising and the hurdles being put in front of potential tenants are growing day by day. The authors believe that a rent strike isn’t on the cards, but still try to show ways in which people can fight back.

Reviews contributed by the Bookmarks socialist bookshop.

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