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Council commits to improving conditions in the private rented sector

Hackney Council has passed a Labour motion calling for better information and improved rights for private renters. The motion also marked the launch of Hackney’s own lettings agency, establishing a fair and reliable service for both tenants and landlords.

One in three homes in Hackney is privately rented, and the number is growing. As property prices have soared, many individuals, including families, have no choice but to rent. This makes it increasingly difficult for families to settle and put down roots.

Cllr Will Brett, who proposed the motion, said: “We have seen the number of complaints about property conditions in the private rented sector double over the past seven years. This is at the same time as many households are being increasingly squeezed by rents that are spiralling ever further out of control. That's why we're campaigning to do everything we can to improve conditions in the private rented sector.

“A Labour government will make three-year tenancies the norm and ban letting agents' fees. But in Hackney we want to make sure we're doing everything we can in the meantime. We're talking to as many Hackney renters as possible and getting a clearer picture of where there are problems. That way we can intervene where we're able, and help make conditions better.”

Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "Hackney Council passed a motion on improving the private rented sector at full council on Wednesday 22 October. One key aspect of the motion was the development of a Council-run letting agency; I am pleased to say this social letting agency is in the process of being set up and will provide another avenue for residents to find good quality rental properties."

The average monthly rental cost in Hackney’s private rented sector is £2,125 for a family home, an increase of 9.15% from the same time last year. In addition, households can face letting agents’ fees of up to £500 every time they move home.

Notes

1. For more information and interviews, contact Will Brett, Hackney Labour Group Campaigns Officer, on 07979 696 265 / william.brett@gmail.com

2. The full text of the motion, passed on 22nd October 2014,  is available at http://mginternet.hackney.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=112&MId=2818

3. All Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors present voted for the motion; Conservative councillors voted against

4. For more information about the Hackney Labour campaign on the private rented sector, visit http://www.hackney-labour.org.uk/renting_in_hackney

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