Unaffordable, unstable, unsafe: We need to fix renting
27 Jan 2016
1 in 4 Londoners are renting from a private landlord, and far too many are living with mould or mice, paying far too much for homes that are all too temporary.
Renting needs fixing. If you agree, join our campaign.
This year London will elect a new Mayor, and the candidates all want our votes. It’s a huge opportunity to get our voices heard and change the lives of renters. That’s why we want you to join us in asking the new Mayor to fix private renting in London.
We’ll be asking candidates to take action to improve the lives of renters. We want them to make sure bad landlords face consequences, make sure rented homes are in decent condition and push for an end to letting fees.
…and we’ll be building a mass movement of London renters who will create enough noise and pressure to make the candidates commit.
What are we asking for?
We’ve got three tests that we want all the candidates for the next Mayor to meet when they set out their policies. These really are tests: if they fail, we will see more of the same: rising rents and increasing homelessness. If they pass, the lives of millions of people will improve.
The first two tests focus on building more affordable homes, because this is the only way to sustainably fix the renting crisis. Competition is high and standards are low in the rented sector because there are just aren’t enough affordable homes for the people who need them.
When it comes to renting, we want the Mayor to:
- Work with boroughs to get London’s landlords licensed, making sure bad landlords face consequences
- Push for the power to make rented homes decent, making sure they have powers to introduce a compulsory register of all landlords and letting agents with properties in London, as well as punish rogue landlords.
- Use London’s affordable housing budget to build new homes that Londoners can actually afford to rent and buy.
- Publicly oppose cuts to housing benefit for private renters, to help those on a low income cover their housing costs.
- Campaign for the power to ban letting agents’ fees for tenants, to reduce the cost of renting
- Make sure renting families can lay down roots by introducing longer term tenancies.
Fixing renting is part of Shelter’s DNA. We’ve been a powerful voice for renters since 1966, when our first ever campaign successfully took on slum landlords. We’ve won numerous victories for renters since then – like making sure renters have their deposits protected, and cannot be evicted just for complaining about bad conditions.
If you’re renting in London, you already know that things could be so much better than they are now.