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Housing horrors

A new campaign launched by Ken Livingstone
Rip-off agency fees. Deposits lost unfairly. Rogue landlords evicting tenants with little notice and hiking rent with no warning.  Smashed windows, faulty locks and broken fridges not being fixed for weeks or months. Rodent infestations. Damp and mouldy bathrooms being left to rot.
These are just some of the housing horror stories Londoners renting in the capital have told me about in recent months. But I am under no illusions that there are many more out there.
Hundreds of thousands of people live in the private rented sector across London and I am determined to stand up for ordinary Londoners and improve housing for all.
In the coming months I will be setting out ambitious plans to improve the private rented sector which will be shaped by the experiences of Londoners.
I’m urging people to  tell me about their housing experiences so that if elected I can take action to improve housing for all.
You can leave your story on my website (click on the link at the top of the page), or get in touch on my facebook page, or on twitter using the hashtag #housinghorrors
Ken Livingstone

0 replies on “Housing horrors”

1. Agency Fees. Yes, some are crazy. Whilst some are reasonable. Landlords, not told by the agency they charge the tenants high fees. As a landlord, I now shop around, to find agency with cheapest fees (both for me and the tenant). I do advertise privately, when I need a tenant, but don’t always get a good result. However, some agencies do provide extra service, e.g. pick up prospective tenants and drive them to the properties and drop them back to train stations. Some fees are expected e.g. referencing. Some check-in, in the past not necessary, but now “compensation culture” means landlords needs to go through health & safety crap etc…
2. Deposit: Shelter campaign for deposit protection. It costs £30 per year to insure the deposit. Though a waste of time. 96% of tenants, stop paying the last month’s rent and tell their landlord to use the deposit to cover the rent. So landlord has no money to cover any tenant damage (this of course means there was no incentive on tenant to look after the place, since they know they can get away with).
3. Eviction: A tenant trashed my property. Took 7 month to get her out. Landlords, only ever evic bad tenants. Landlords evict tenants reluctantly, as you have to pay for letting agents fees to find another tenant, plus the property will need works between tenants etc…
4. Rent Hikes : As a landlord, I don’t increase the rent. if you have good tenants, you don’t want them to leave (especially if they look after the property). A “new” tenant is like “a box of chocolates… ” 🙂
5. Mould : Often the way tenants live. Mould is caused when there is inadequate ventilation inthe property. Someone takes a bath, does not open windows or turn on the extractor. Have had tenants “seal” ventilation holes with duct tape. Ken should go around with a humidity meter!
6. His campaign is one-sided. He should tackle bad tenants. The Charity Shelter only campaigns against landlords. But fails to address damage caused by malicious and careless tenants. Such tenants damages our housing stock. Shelter has to realise, that this effects the next tenant. This is not a victimless crime. So a good tenant suffers because of the previous actions of a bad tenant.

SUGGESTION FOR YOUR NEXT BLOG: Some Councils are demanding private Landlords are responsible for their tenants anti-social behaviour?. Since, when did landlords become social workers or the police?. If a tenant is behaving badly, then it they will just show two fingers to the landlords. How are landlords supposed to deal with such tenants?. Is the answer to evict and pass them one to another landlord?. Also, to evict under Section 8, you need proof. But it is often very hard, so a landlord can end up wasting money on Court fees… most judges, tend to side with the tenant…

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