Generation Rent Takes To Twitter With #VentYourRent
The generation rent statistics seem to be omnipresent. On what feels like a daily basis, startling headlines warn of a generation doomed never to be homeowners. A generation that feels stunted and angry. A generation living in squalid conditions. These statistics are important — crucial, in fact — in showing the scale of the problem. But they don’t always convey the horrifying, day-to-day reality. This week, renters have taken the issue into their own hands with the #VentYourRent hashtag trending on Twitter — and are showing just what life in generation rent actually looks like.
Part of the Generation Rent campaign, one tweet sparked hundreds of replies. Together, they paint a damning indictment of life for young people renting in modern Britain.
Users have been sharing their stories, their photographs, and their grievances. Pictures of black mold, of demolished ceilings, of actual mushrooms growing out of the floor. Tales of last-minute evictions, of cruel and unpredictable rent hikes, and of landlords using rented flats as their second homes.
One quick scroll drives the point home. We’re not just talking about numbers and statistics — we’re talking about lives that are being ruined.
Letting agent refused to fix a dip in the ceiling for months and ignored our calls until the whole thing caved in just before Christmas and almost killed us. We subsequently lost access to the living room and kitchen for ten weeks (but still had to pay full rent). #VentYourRent https://t.co/pNOBtnZN7y pic.twitter.com/v9ZXn8oXPA
— Rhys Robert Harper (@RhysRHarper) November 25, 2019
My friend’s fridge. The hole was made by a rat. Yes. A rat ate through her fridge. And the landlord neither replaced the fridge nor dealt with the rat infestation. #VentYourRent pic.twitter.com/i4KsIkMArU
— Danielle Friel (@dinorwicport) November 25, 2019
— Els (@mugabefc) November 25, 2019
With the general election just weeks away, the UK housing crisis is one of the many domestic issues that should be front and center. While one in thirty UK adults is a landlord, benefitting from loose tenancy protections and growing income inequality, millions of young people are suffering. But young people are skeptical that any new government will take the issue as seriously as they promise to.
For those who don’t have to worry about their housing, who don’t have their life decisions and their daily routines revolve around the vulnerability of renting, #VentYourRent should be a wake-up call. If homeownership is out of reach, then renting should at the least — the very least — be stable, safe, and affordable. It’s not too much to ask.