Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Almost no-one escapes unscathed from London’s private renting market in north London, survey finds

"I have so many bad rental stories. In one case, an agency told us their £300 fees would include 'everything'. Then, the landlord decided to slap on another charge for drawing up the contract - one copied and pasted from the Internet. There was nothing we could do without giving up the flat at short notice and becoming homeless." This is the experience of Ronald Stewart, Green Party candidate in the recent by-election in St. Ann’s.

Ronald Stewart, Anne Clark and Jarelle Francis (right to left), Haringey Green Party prospective candidates for 2018 Council elections

Nine out of ten renters had experienced four or more serious problems during their time renting in London. 

Another one of them is Anne Clark, one of a team Haringey Green Party members getting ready to contest the local elections in 2018:

"As a private renter in London, I've lived in houses that have literally been falling apart, where the landlord has invested nothing in maintenance, but still tried to put the rent up every year. On one occasion, the boiler broke in the middle of winter, and there was no hot water or heating in the house for nearly three weeks, but we were offered no help or compensation.

“London needs a housing policy that puts renters first and holds dodgy landlords and letting agencies to account."

London Assembly Member Sian Berry has launched a report “What are London renters thinking?” based on the results of her recent Big Renters Survey of London’s private tenants.[i]

The report lays bare the scale of dissatisfaction among London’s renters, over a range of areas including rocketing rent costs, incomplete repairs, lost deposits and fear of losing their homes at the end of each annual contract. It also reveals the appetite for an independent renter’s organisation to investigate bad landlords, provide a voice for renters and campaign for better standards.

Across the north London boroughs of Barnet, Enfield, Hackney, Camden, Islington and Waltham Forest, renters spent on average 44 per cent of their entire take-home pay on covering their rent. Fifty-three per cent of Enfield and Haringey renters reported that they had problems with landlords coming into their homes without permission. This was the highest percentage in London, compared with a London-wide average of 43 per cent.

Significantly, nearly six out of ten renters said they would be prepared to pay a small fee to join a London-wide organisation that helped them in these ways.

Sian said:

“As a renter in London for nearly 20 years, it’s important to me that I keep bringing the voices of London’s 2.3 million private renters into City Hall. In this report I’m recommending that the Mayor stands up for London’s private renters and support them in standing up for themselves.

“The willingness of renters to pay a small fee to join a renters’ organisation is very significant, as it means such a group could become self-sustaining once it has been set up. The Mayor should look seriously at providing practical help such as office space and seed funding to help found an independent London-wide organisation to represent renters in our city.”

Among other recommendations, Sian’s report suggests more support at the London-wide level for renters, including a central information source with links to existing renter’s groups and council schemes. In addition to this, Sian calls for continued pressure from the Mayor to push the government to devolve more powers over housing to London.[ii]

Sixty-eight per cent of the 1,530 renters who filled in the survey also wrote in additional information, telling Sian about their experiences in London.[iii]

A copy of the report is available here: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/sian_berry_renter_sur...

An interactive map of results by GLA constituency area is here: http://www.sianberry.london/big-renters-survey/results/ 

[i] Sian launched the Big Renters Survey in July: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/assembly/sian-berry/launch...

[ii] The full recommendations of the report are:

1.       Better engagement with renters

Including seed funding a London-wide organisation to carry out research and investigations and provide a voice for renters in dealings with City Hall and councils

2.       More help and information for renters

Provided by the GLA, with a central information source and links to existing groups and council schemes.

3.       Better regulation and support for landlords

With support at the London level to ensure consistent council enforcement, training and licensing

4.       Enhanced regulation of the sector nationally

With continued pressure from the Mayor, Assembly and London’s borough councils for powers to be devolved to London

[iii] Sixteen case studies are quoted in the report.

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Why is it relevant whether or not I own property or rent? You think I'm bitter because I can't own property and hence my position in this discussion? It's complicated but I am certainly benefitting from the post 2012 house price inflation in Harringay, on paper.

I have most definitely read RDPD. I may not longer own a copy as I had to divest myself of some books a few years ago.

You didn't call me a fool, I felt like you were though. That's me, I admit.

Interesting! Having read all the comments it seems buy to let landlords with multiple properties don't realise they are close to becoming one of the groups people loathe and not just renters. When family houses are bought and turned into multiple flats so that someone can pay their debts off faster, its a thorny issue all round. I am pleased with the taking away of the mortage interest relief and stamp duty changes. I was disappointed they decided to phase it in gradually instead of taking it away completely in the first instance. Workers with no job security, maternity pay, redunduncy pay etc were hit hard with dividend tax this year. The same should have applied to BTL

Accidental landlords are the scariest! Like accidental parents and accidental employers.

"No I can't maintain my property to a reasonable standard because I have no money. No I won't sell it because I don't want to. No I won't stop letting it out because I rely on the income to support myself." - BAD.

Well from everything I see around me, the small time landlords are the ones with more debt and so are prone to not keeping up with maintenance and putting up prices rather steeply every year so they can buy more properties. Having one buy to let as an investment is fair I think. You can keep up the maintenance and still pay your debts. I am yet to find one BTL landlord who is happy with that though. I have lived in Bounds Green for 10 years and its always been an area for families. The rate at which houses are being bought and converted into flats, so accidental landlords can leverage is scary. The big bad corporate landlord was once an accidental landlord.
You can incorporate too if you want to :-)



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