The plan brings forward ambitious proposals to tackle the fact that private tenants are paying more and more in rent and yet many have to put up with poor living conditions like damp.
At a time when the prospect of home ownership remains a distant prospect for many, the West End Labour Action Team is calling on Westminster Council to stand up for ‘Generation Rent’ and make sure tenants get a fair deal.
Pancho Lewis, of the West End Labour team said: “More than 40% of residents rent, and the average tenant pays nearly half of their income in rent. And yet far too many tenants live in substandard accommodation. It’s just not on – we need to tackle this issue. Our 5 point plan puts forward ideas to make sure tenants who are being let down are given a fair deal“.
Patrick Lilley, also of the West End Labour Action Team, said: “We’re calling on the community to give us their views on our proposals. We want to work with residents in the West End to develop these ideas so we can make a real difference to people living in the private rented sector.”
West End Labour proposes a five point plan to:
1. Support the Mayor’s London living rent policy.
Rent levels would be set at one-third of average local incomes. This will help households typically earning between £35,000 and £45,000, who are currently renting privately. Westminster Council should lead the way in embracing the London Living Rent.
2. Set up a not-for-profit lettings agency for good landlords.
This would give renters confidence, helping do away with the high fees tenants can be charged as well as promoting longer-term tenancies and stabilising rents.
3. Celebrate landlords who do a good job, and name and shame those who don’t.
We will name and shame rogue landlords whilst celebrating landlords that punch above their weight in providing tenants with a high quality service.
4. Protect renters from revenge evictions.
Tenants are often evicted for requesting repairs to badly maintained properties. A new law brought forward in 2015 to help prevent revenge evictions has failed. New rules are needed so that when landlords fail to carry out repairs within a reasonable time frame, tenants can carry out repairs and have the costs deducted from rent.
5. Encourage more build-to-rent developments.
This will mean young professionals and middle income families can afford to live in Westminster.