I was delighted to be one of the signatories yesterday as the new Islington Private Tenants Association officially formed with the signing of their constitution at Islington Town Hall.
Set up to provide a strong voice for Islington residents who are private tenants, the group will make sure private tenants are heard in any consultations or new legislation and work together to improve conditions in the private sector.
Almost a third of Islington’s residents live in private rented accommodation, which is well over the national average. I commented: “for a long time the issues facing private tenants have been overlooked. With London in the grip of an urgent housing crisis, homes are in short supply and rents are increasing to unsustainable levels. Many members of our community are being priced out of Islington – particularly the south of the borough. Others are paying sky-high rents for frankly substandard accommodation. Enough is enough – we need urgent action to tackle this crisis”
Private tenants face problems ranging from unreasonably high rents, no security of tenure, substandard living conditions, poor treatment or eviction. Islington Private Tenants will work to make sure tenants know their rights so that issues can be reported.
Islington’s Labour Council is also taking tough action to crack down on problem landlords including carrying out street surveys to identify poor properties, serving legal notices where landlords refuse to carry out works within agreed timescales, and proceeding to prosecution where necessary. Islington Council has signed up to Shelter’s Evict Rogue Landlords Campaign and Cllr James Murray, Executive Member for Housing & Development is working with Shelter and others to campaign for changes in national legislation that would improve life for private tenants through limits on rent rises and greater security of tenure.
Find out more about Islington Private Tenants at www.islingtonprivatetenants.org.uk