How we’re campaigning for a #BetterDealForRenters


Cllr Sem Moema, Deputy Cabinet Member for Private Rented Sector and Housing Affordability on the draft Private Sector Housing Strategy 2024.

‘’With around 8,500 households on the Council’s social housing waiting list and house prices increasing more than sevenfold in twenty years, renting privately has become the only option for many in Hackney.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that the number of private renters has doubled in the last decade to 1 in 3 households. But with the supply of homes failing to keep pace with this growing demand, they face less choice at the same time as much higher rents.

That’s why I’m sharing the draft of our new Private Sector Housing Strategy  – our plan to ensure that those who rent from a private landlord get the safe, warm and secure homes they deserve. 

Hackney today is facing an unprecedented housing crisis. The majority of landlords provide a professional service to their tenants. But with so much demand, some exploit the lack of proper regulation and force many private renters to accept conditions that don’t meet modern day standards.

In Hackney, we’ve long been committed to change. We’ve led the way in creating a better system for renters in Hackney – introducing measures requiring private landlords to meet higher standards and taking action against those who fail to provide a good, safe home.

Our new strategy builds on this foundation, setting out how we will use every power we have to raise standards of accommodation and challenge rogue landlords in the borough, while we continue to make the case to the government for the protections that Hackney’s private renters deserve.

Our draft strategy is calling for:

  • A better deal for private renters – fair rents, quality homes. We will continue pushing the Government to implement the promised end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and the removal of end dates from tenancies. 
  • Borough-wide landlord licensing across as many wards in Hackney as possible – legally committing landlords to meeting acceptable standards – we will apply to the Secretary of State to renew and extend our existing landlord licensing scheme. We will continue to call for powers to be devolved to Local Authorities to licence their landlords.
  • A ban on bidding wars – so that the advertised price of a rental home is the final price that tenants pay.
  • Licensing of ‘Airbnb’ style short-term lets –  In May 2019, Hackney had the third highest number of short-term lets of all London Boroughs.This reduces the amount of homes available in the borough, pushing up housing prices and increasing rents. We’re calling for licensing to better understand how this market is operating and how it impacts our borough. 
  • Raising the standards in the private rental sector and extending Awaab’s Law – to hold private landlords to the same standards and responsibilities that social housing landlords are held to. 

It won’t solve the problem overnight – not least without proper Government support and regulation that protects tenants and makes clear the framework landlords operate in. While we welcome the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill, after so much delay we will need to keep pushing the government to implement these changes in months, not years. 

While this is only a draft strategy, it is the first step in ensuring that we are providing a fairer deal for private renters across the borough as we work alongside organisations such as London Renters Union, Age Concern, Generation Rent, ACORN and Hackney Citizens to campaign for renters’ rights. Now is the opportunity to read through our commitments and asks, ahead of us asking for your feedback in spring this year. ‘’

To find out more, please visit hackney.gov.uk/better-deal-for-renters

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