Generation Rent – Ditsy Dillner, Queen of Self-Contradiction

Generation Rent – Ditsy Dillner, Queen of Self-Contradiction

18:12 PM, 5th November 2016, About 6 years ago 25

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Generation Rent - Ditsy Dillner, Queen of Self-ContradictionWe have given Betsy Dillner, the Director of Generation Rent the nickname “Ditsy Dillner” on account of how often she contradicts herself.

In ‘How to change the housing crisis: build relationships’ Betsy Dillner says: “the PRS has more than doubled in the last 10 years, to 11 million households across the UK.”

She claims “We as a society are addicted to the idea of rising house prices, and we now see property as a commodity more than a human need.”

She says “We think we have about 1.2 million landlords in the country, but we don’t actually know because the government doesn’t even know who the landlords are any more.  So if you think about 4 million private rental households trying to organise against 1 million, that becomes really difficult.”

Thus in the space of a few minutes she has the number of PRS households at 11 million and at 4 million – video link . So come on Ditsy, how many is it?

She wants to organise renters to act together to take action against the housing crisis, to give them the same sort of power as trade unions. She said that for this to happen renters need to form relationships. She would like the renters to copy the rent strikes of 100 years ago in Glasgow, with the renters’ “union” supporting those who are evicted as a result.

She wants to discourage First Time Buyers.  She wants the renters’ union members to dissuade those who might be tempted to feed the rising price addiction by buying a property – presumably on the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous?

This is contrary to what she implied in Joe Lynam’s notorious BBC programme earlier this year. Then she said “These tax incentives have pushed a lot of amateur landlords into the market and removing these incentives will professionalise landlords and make way for First Time Buyers which may (sic) have been pushed out of the market because of these tax incentives pushing up prices.” 

She says they need a way of organising renters, but concedes that she and her colleagues do not know how to do so. She says she is proud to be part of the housing movement.  Again, she asked people who want to get a foot on the ladder to think about how it feeds the addiction (and presumably to refrain).

She wants both prices and rents to come down even while acknowledging that the crisis is due to a chronic under-supply of new dwellings.

Her fantasy is for renters to come together, refuse to buy a property out of solidarity, and then refuse to pay rent and opt for eviction instead, making themselves intentionally homeless and therefore ineligible for support from the council.   It is Utopian socialist drivel.

Generation Rent describes itself as “Campaigning with private renters for professionally managed, secure, decent and affordable privately rented homes”. A rent strike would deprive renters of their homes. Why would its only director promote such a counter-productive idea?

In February she welcomed S 24 because it would force landlords to sell, and make way for FTB’s.

In May she appealed to renters not to become FTB’s, as described above..

At the end of October she welcomed the Stamp Duty surcharge because it would deter “speculators” from buying property and “shutting out would-be first-time buyers”: Daily Mail Link

She seems confused.  Can she make her mind up whether she approves of renters becoming FTB’s or not?

We are confused as well.  Given that the aim of her organisation is exclusively to improve the quality of life of renters, why does she welcome taxes that will reduce and keep low the supply of rental accommodation (by deterring landlords from buying or forcing them to sell) thereby increasing its price?

She admits she is not a housing expert, and that her friends describe her as a bit of a professional trouble maker.  We are also confused as to why the BBC and the Daily Mail would ask her to comment about taxes that affect housing.  Or does she call them?

Finally, let’s look at her thoughts about section 21 – these are from Twitter …

Ditsy 1

Ditsy 2


Kathy Evans

12:32 PM, 7th November 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "James Fraser" at "05/11/2016 - 23:05":

I'm not even sure that the number of households renting has even increased - over 10 years perhaps, because of the council sell-off under Right-to-Buy - but not over 50 years. When I was a child, it seemed as though most people rented for much of, if not all oftheir lives.

Dr Rosalind Beck

12:44 PM, 7th November 2016, About 6 years ago

If anyone spots Generation Rent being quoted anywhere, can they please send the journalist a link to this article pointing out that they have no credibility whatsoever, and that if the journalist wants reliable facts then they should come to 118 first as we know far more about it.

Simon Bentley

17:21 PM, 7th November 2016, About 6 years ago

I emailed them about their charitable status and got the following reply

"Dear Simon,

Thank you for considering making a donation to Generation Rent. We are not a charity, though we are a not-for-profit organisation (technically a Company Limited By Guarantee) that relies on grants and donations to operate.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best wishes,
Dan Wilson Craw
Generation Rent"

From their application form for the post of Trustee/Treasurer - "Generation Rent is the trading name for the National Private Tenants
Organisation Ltd."-this and their reg no is not stated on their site as it should be by law.

From Companies House Company
Status - Active
Company type - Private company limited by guarantee without share capital

And their list of Directors more or less mirrors that of their website list of Trustees - but of course Ditsy is not listed.

Can't decide whether to email back or not - but I certainly will not be donating

Gary Nock

17:29 PM, 7th November 2016, About 6 years ago

Mmm. Simon if they are the Generation Rent at Companies House, and they are not submitting accounts on time or putting company registration numbers on websites etc then I think the press would like to know that the people representing tenants cannot even get a company return in. Should fill their membership with trust.

Simon Bentley

17:48 PM, 7th November 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Nock" at "07/11/2016 - 17:29":

Well Companies House now know as I just sent the following

"Dear Sirs

I am uncertain if you are the correct department to deal with this but hopefully if not you will pass this on to the appropriate one.

On a social media site I came across an organisation representing itself as Generation Rent, on their own site I found them referring to trustees and asking for donations so thought they may be a charity, which from the CC and after enquiring from themselves they are not. After trawling through their site I eventually found this document which states "Generation Rent is the trading name for the National Private Tenants Organisation Ltd.", which from your own site is a Private company limited by guarantee without share capital.

My concerns are that;

No where(other than on an application form) do they state that Generation rent is a trading name of the National Private Tenants Organisation Ltd nor do they quote their Reg No anywhere as I believe they are required to do.
The trading name they have chosen to use is that of an existing Ltd company - I believe this is not allowed
They list a Director on their site who is not a Director according to
They list trustees on their site that at least appear in fact to be Directors


Simon Bentley"

Missing links from above

Simon Bentley

18:03 PM, 7th November 2016, About 6 years ago

To put my above vitriol in context I myself work in the "3rd sector", I am volunteer General Manager/CEO/COO (and former trustee) for one Charity and am employed full time by another charity and it frankly boils my **** when I see what are no more than political campaign organisations behaving in a manner that suggests to the public (and others - look at Generation rents list of donors) that they are charitable concerns or even Community Interest Companies (CIC) when they are often nothing of the sort - and don't even get me started on the bullying tactics of some of the big household name charities when it comes to smaller players in their respective fields.

Dr Rosalind Beck

18:49 PM, 7th November 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Bentley" at "07/11/2016 - 18:03":

Nice one, Simon. Let us know how you get on. You clearly know a lot about this. These organisations are very destructive and if they can be stopped in their tracks that would be an excellent job done. GR in addition to Shelter devote their energies to slagging off housing providers. When I worked for MIND we didn't dream of spending our time and public money slagging off others; we provided housing and support to people. That is what a 'housing' charity should do.

Luke Roxberg

20:56 PM, 13th November 2016, About 6 years ago

I was looking into how Generation Rent is funded as it would appear these sorts of organisations are well versed in media, in an area that they don't actually supply any accommodation for. Would appear they receive a significant amount of funding from "Trust for London", who seem to be funded largely through 'Property Investment". This strikes me as very hypocritical and maybe should be pointed out in any conversation with the media.

When looking at Trust for London finance, 2015 Annual Report comments that 45% of income is from investment properties (page 6). This is in the accounts on page 18. Interestingly also on the accounts on page 18 is a line item for £11.7m "net gains on investment properties".

"Generation Rent currently receives grant funding from the Trust for London, but relies in large part on donations from its supporters."

"Generation Rent is the operating name of the National Private Tenants Organisation Ltd (Registration number 08731888) "

NATIONAL PRIVATE TENANTS ORGANISATION LIMITED - seems to have ~£50,000 cash in the bank but no real information in the accounts otherwise

NewYorkie View Profile

17:49 PM, 20th February 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luke Roxberg" at "13/11/2016 - 20:56":

The property portfolio comprises mainly commercial ground lease investments located in the City of London and playing fields in Greater London, but it doesn't hurt to imply double standards in obtaining funding from property investment in London.

Here's the reply I had to the suggestion GR should explain the tax implications of s.24 and why landlords will need to increase rents over the next 4 years:

"Gavin Miller just commented on How to fight a rent hike in 10 steps:

Section 24 is just a partial removal of tax relief. First time buyers don't get tax relief and it gives landlords an unfair advantage especially as landlords target first time buyer properties. Its designed to help level the playing field and only really targets those deeply indebted landlords using interest only mortgages as tax avoidance. If those landlords have to sell then those properties can go to first time buyers who rent making it rent supply neutral. Remember landlords have had it very good the last 7 years being bailed out by ultra low interest rates, QE and funding for lending. Their mortgage costs have fallen dramatically and yet these savings weren't passed onto renters, just pocketed by landlords who often instead pushed rents above inflation instead. I think the real problem is that interest only mortgages remain for landlords and should be banned to truly level the playing field."

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

18:01 PM, 20th February 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lou Valdini" at "20/02/2017 - 17:49":

Clearly the gentleman you have quoted is deluded by the far left wing sophistry adopted by Government.

"The Ros Report" clearly identifies how 93% of new housing provision over the last two decades has been as a result of buy-to-let. The report also explains and exposes the dangers of tax policies which disturb these economics and the ludicrous meddling with taxation policies.

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