Join us at London’s City Hall on Tuesday 18th December to stand up for the rights of private tenants to decent, affordable, secure homes.
When: Meet 8:45am, Tues 18th December
Where: Café Fratelli, behind City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA (click for map)
We have linked up with Haringey Housing Action Group and Digs to demand that rent controls are brought back, local housing allowance (LHA) is increased with inflation, secure tenancies are reintroduced and greater protection and support is given to private tenants.
On Tuesday 18th Dec the London Assembly Housing and Regeneration Committee are holding their last meeting as part of the review of London’s Private Rented Sector. The theme of this meeting is ‘tenant and landlord rights’. Tenants have been given little voice in the process so far, so come and join other private tenants and supporters to make our demands known and put pressure on those attending to stand up for private tenants.
Bring banners, Santa hats, placards, lots of noise ..and warm clothing…
Tenants have adapted some classic carols to the theme of housing and will be singing on the day, so come ready with your best singing voice
The meeting starts at 10am, and is a public meeting. Some of us are planning to go in after the protest outside as we want to make the presence of tenants and supporters felt, so please join us. At the start, we’ll be presenting our Christmas messages and ‘Dear Santa’ scrapbook to the Chair of the Committee, Len Duvall. Click here to submit your private housing ‘Dear Santa’ message.
Private tenants demand…
- Bring rents down! Housing is a basic necessity, like food and water. Actions to maximize rental income at the detriment of tenants show this has been forgotten. Rent controls do exist on pre-1989 tenancies and we demand these controls be introduced to all tenancies.
- Remove all bogus letting agents ‘fees’ for tenants! Letting Agents provide a service to Landlords and charge them for doing so – they should not take further ‘fees’ from tenants. Agency ‘fees’, reference ‘checks’, admin ‘fees’ and leaving ‘fees’ are all costs that have been created in recent years by and for Letting Agents to increase their profits and exploit the basic need to have a home.
Security of Tenure
- Bring back secure tenancies! Until 1988 most tenancies were secure. Today, private tenants are given a six month tenancy with few rights. Across London, people are being evicted by landlords who know they can charge extortionate rents for substandard properties. Tenants should be able to live in their chosen community and home, near schools, friends and family, as long as they wish. Housing should not be a business like selling cars or renting holiday homes. Bringing back rent control will force rents down to affordable levels.
- Decent standards! Less than half of private rented homes meet the Decent Homes Standard. Many homes in London are in an appalling, dangerous condition and it is often children, the elderly and vulnerable adults who are worse affected. The link between poor housing and the health, wellbeing and life chances of tenants is striking.
- Tenant Empowerment! The GLA should ensure that empowering tenants is central to the policy recommendations that come out of this review. Presently, landlords have many rights, and tenants have very few. This balance of power needs to be shifted so that tenants are empowered to enforce their right to be involved in all decision-making about their housing, from rent to maintenance to length of tenancy. The GLA should ensure that the voice of private tenants is heard at all levels of policy making. There is a tradition of landlords being thoroughly consulted in discussions about the private rented sector but tenants being ignored. The London Assembly has the power to see this change.
Private tenants in London are mobilising! Why not get involved with a group near you? Or set one up of your own.