Calling all private renters in Thurlow Park and beyond – you have until 3rd March to have your say on renting and the kind of support you’d like from the council to improve the sector and help you resolve issues with your landlord!
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.