Redbridge tenants’ campaign seeks rogue landlord horror stories to show ‘reality of renting’
PUBLISHED: 07:01 14 July 2015
A tenants’ group has launched a campaign supporting mandatory licensing for landlords in Redbridge – and is asking people to share their stories to “show the government the reality of renting”.
Last month Redbridge Council approved borough-wide landlord licensing, and is now waiting for approval from the Department for Communities and Local Government to implement the scheme.
Following widespread opposition from landlords, Redbridge Renters has started its own campaign and is urging tenants to share their experiences to bolster its support for licensing.
Richard Duxbury, a spokesman for the group which launched two months ago, said: “Private renters in the borough are suffering with sky-high rents, substandard properties and landlords who fail to meet their responsibilities.
“We wholeheartedly support the council proposals – renters need local authorities to be active in preventing housing exploitation.”
Council statistics show one in four households in Redbridge are private renters, rising from 11 per cent in 2001 to 23pc in the 2011 census.
Mr Duxbury, who has previously experienced problems renting in Redbridge, said: “Housing scarcity and insecure tenancies place landlords in a hugely dominant position over renters – and many landlords exploit that position.
“Licensing offers additional protections to tenants, particularly in regards to gas, electrical and fire safety.
“The council would gain a true picture of renting in Redbridge, allowing them to provide the necessary support to residents in housing need.
“We’re asking for stories from the community of people’s experiences of renting in Redbridge. So often renters feel isolated, enduring insecurity and financial pressures alone.
“We feel that by sharing our stories it will show just how many of us are in the same boat.”
Landlords have claimed the fees – £500 per property over five years – could increase rents, and said rogue landlords would continue to operate outside of the law.
Three years ago Newham became the first borough in the country to introduce mandatory licensing for landlords.
To share your experiences, visit licensing.redbridgerenters.org.uk or call the Recorder newsdesk on 0208 477 3858.
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