Private renting is an important issue for us – in the borough roughly a third of residents live in privately rented accommodation and in our ward we have dealt with many pieces of casework relating to the private rented sector, from damp and repairs to security of tenure.
Last year, we organised a survey and meeting for private renters in West Norwood. Many of you who attended told us that you weren’t always confident in asserting your rights to landlords, or that landlords weren’t aware of all of their responsibilities. Renters have told us in the survey and at our surgeries that rents are increasing and getting harder to manage.
We have been working hard to champion the private rented sector, so that the council makes fuller use of its powers to intervene when landlords don’t meet the standards they should, and provides the information and support that good tenants and good landlords need to improve the sector.
We’re proud that Lambeth Labour recently voted to call on the Government to end Section 21, and you can read Councillor Anna Birley’s blog about her experiences of Section 21 and renting locally. She is now the Private Renting Policy Lead for Lambeth. As part of this work, we have introduced tougher fines on rogue landlords, recruited more enforcement officers to drive up standards and moved ahead with a licensing scheme for landlords for flats with five or more renters.
But there’s more to do – and currently we are consulting on renters’ main priorities and challenges are to help shape the council’s next steps. The first outcome will be to draw up a private renters’ charter, to set out renters’ rights, give advice, support and guidance, as well as detail the council’s powers to intervene and will be published later this year.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our online survey, speak to us on the doorstep or email with your ideas – we have passed on your comments and preferences to the tree officer who is busy checking locations to see if they are viable (in terms of eg wires under the pavement).
While we will endeavour to match the species with the location where they have been nominated, you may be interested in seeing how your neighbours across the ward voted:
We have secure dozens of trees to be planted in February across the ward – and we want your help to choose locations and varieties.
To get as much input from residents as possible, we have put together an online survey, sent emails, met with residents associations, doorknocked on streets across the ward and delivered flyers to homes near potential new tree pits.
Many of you have been in touch with your requests and ideas – thank you! These have all been passed to tree officers who will evaluate the suggested sites (eg for wires under the pavement) and will where possible source your preferred trees from the nursery.
If you haven’t shared your preferences – now is your last chance to do so! The deadline for the survey is tomorrow Monday 10th December. Please let us know your favourite tree varieties and spots across the ward you think could do with some extra greenery, and encourage your neighbours to respond too.
As part of the Our Streets investment programme, we will be planting trees across the ward – and we want to hear from you! Help us to choose locations and species of trees using the form below. Please complete the form by 10th December.
We are working our way around the ward to identify empty tree pits that need a new tree, and to doorknock different streets and ask for residents’ suggestions. If you’d like us to doorknock in your street – please just get in touch!