Since London Renters, a coalition of private tenant groups started campaigning against greedy, anti-social letting agents via our ‘Let Down‘ campaign, the support has been overwhelming. In fact, since the letting agents have stayed quiet, it’s been very difficult to find anyone with anything good to say about the big high street letting agents!
Now, Greater London Assembly member for the Green Party, Darren Johnson has tabled a motion supporting ‘Let Down’.
Darren Johnson said:
“Private rents in London rose 9 per cent last year while wages only increased by 2 per cent putting a whole sector of the housing market increasingly beyond the reach of poorer workers.
“We are calling on the Mayor and Government to reform the sector for the benefit of tenants and responsible landlords by accepting our recommendations for improving renting in the capital. This rent reform package – including rent stabilisation, registration of all landlords and ensuring longer more-secure tenancies are in place – is needed to ensure those renting in London are not victim to unfair rent rises and evictions.”
A letter from London Renters welcoming the support of Darren Johnson and explaining why reform of the private rented sector is so needed was printed in the Evening Standard this week. Here’s what we said:
As members of a growing coalition of private tenants groups across the capital, we welcome the motion tabled today by London Assembly member Darren Johnson in support of our campaign for a better deal for London renters.
Unfortunately, we have seen little evidence that the Mayor will be following the advice of the London Assembly’s housing and regeneration committee’s recent report, which recommended action to stabilise spiralling rents in the capital and end retaliatory eviction. Better regulation of letting agents, a ban on discrimination against renters receiving housing benefit, and an end to extortionate fees charged to tenants (as already the case in Scotland) are also urgently required.
The private rented sector currently provides the poorest quality and least secure form of housing at the highest cost – including over £2bn a year to the public purse – yet is housing an increasing proportion of London’s population. Real reform is long overdue; the Mayor’s defence of business as usual is not an option.
Jacky Peacock OBE, Advice4Renters
Robert Taylor, Camden Federation of Private Tenants
Heather Kennedy, Digs – Hackney Renters
Christine Haigh, Lambeth Renters
Tom Gann, Southwark Tenants
Michael Chessum, University of London Union
Representatives of Haringey Housing Action Group, Islington Private Tenants and Tower Hamlets Renters