Local elections 2022: who has pledged to #SideWithRenters?
Across the city, LRU is building the power of renters. In the upcoming local elections, this means councillors want our votes, and are meeting our demands.
Across 6 London boroughs, LRU members have developed local demands about changes they want to see the council make to bring us closer to a housing system that works for people not profit.
Following months of determined door knocking, street stalls, protest actions, community organising and neogitations with local politicans, we’re immensely proud of the commitments we’ve secured from all of the local politicians that could run the next council across 6 boroughs.
These changes to how councils run the local housing system could improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of renters. After a rest, we’ll get on with the hard work of holding politicians to the promises they’ve made.
Click on the borough below to see the commitments made
Green Party: Pledged to implement the Newham Housing Justice Charter in full if elected.
Labour Party: Included several key LRU demands in their manifesto. In a meeting with LRU members, candidate for Mayor Rokhsana Fiazcommitted to:
- Working with LRU and other groups representing temporary accommodation tenants on an action plan for improving TA standards, including how to resource the plan
- Including temporary accommodation in the licensing scheme
- Starting an investigation into a notorious temporary accommodation provider and sending our contact details to all of their tenants
- Working only with temporary accommodation landlords that provide decent, habitable, warm homes that meet band C of the energy performance certificate
- Working with LRU on developing a new enforcement policy for the private rented sector & to set targets for fines and enforcement actions against landlords
- Increasing the amount of frontline enforcement officers, including out of hours emergency responders.
- Establishing minimum standards of energy efficiency so that PRS homes meet EPC band C standards where practical.
- Aiming for 50% affordable housing on all new private developments and updating LRU regularly on this
- Building 1,500 homes at social rent
- Publishing breakdowns on the types of housing being built
- Meeting with LRU twice a year
- Campaigning for the central Labour party to fight for rent controls
- Increasing the percentage of households rehoused in Newham by 70%
Read the Hackney Housing Justice charter here.
Green Party: Mayoral candidate Zoë Garbett tweeted a thread detailing that the party supports the Hackney Housing Justice charter in full.
Labour Party: At a meeting with LRU members, Mayoral candidate Phil Glanville and Cllr Sem Moema committed that if elected the Labour party will:
- Apply for borough-wide landlord licensing within two years and growing the size of the landlord enforcement team every year.
- Work with LRU to develop and set ambitious targets for Hackney Council’s enforcement team to drive up conditions for renters.
- Take a zero tolerance a zero tolerance approach against landlords who break the law and use their powers to shape landlord behaviour.
- Investigate cutting contracts with poor quality temporary accommodation providers and requiring that temporary accommodation landlords apply for licenses.
- Bringing forward a policy to reduce the amount of Hackney residents moved out of the borough against their will, reduce use of “intentional homelessness” decisions. Aiming to stop moving residents out of London by the end of 4 years and publish data on this.
- Refuse to work with the home office and not pass on any information to them from residents who came to the council for support.
- Examining the viability of a target of a policy to build 100% council homes at social rent on council land and give LRU a seat on a public commission to examine social housing building plans in the borough.
- Build 1000 council homes at social rent exceeding many other borough’s targets.
Read the demands developed by Brent members here – available in 20 different languages here.
Labour Party: In a meeting with LRU members, Labour leader Muhammed Butt and other local Labour leaders committed to the following:
- Commit to apply for borough-wide landlord licensing.
- Increase the enforcement action to make sure landlords carry out repairs and respect our rights, and are made to pay fines when they don’t.
- Take action against landlords that fail to provide warm, energy efficient homes.
- Pass a motion to support the movement for rent controls.
- Update its customer service charter and take action to deal with problems with communicating with renters documented by our members.
- Meet with Brent LRU regularly, and meet after the election to show that they are keeping their promises.
- Launch a public information campaign about renters rights and the London Renters Union.
- Take action to support a number of our members currently in dispute with their landlord, including the DotDotDot guardians.
Read the Lewisham Housing Justice Charter developed by Lewisham members here.
Green Party: Lewisham Green Party tweeted its support for the #SideWithRenters campaign demands.
Labour Party: Lewisham Labour party has pledged support for some of our demands including commitments on:
- Taking a stronger approach to enforcement that puts more focus on fines and taking landlords to court and setting targets on inspections and improvement notices
- Work with LRU on a new enforcement policy and strategy to deliver this, including a stronger focus on frontline staff support to renters.
- Hold a workshop with LRU and council officers in June to discuss the enforcement policy and the setting of targets.
- Expand licensing team to 70 staff
- Aim to include providers of temporary accommodation in the new licensing scheme
- Continue to instruct housing officers not to share data with the Home Office or Border Force and to consider new communications initiatives
- Issue a simple public communication explaining 1,285 social homes breakdown claimed in Labour’s manifesto
- Promise Lewisham will aim for 50% social homes on private developments
- Instruct officers to publish all data on social rent and affordable rent homes in new developments
- Publish a new location priority policy ensuring no one is housed outside of London and reducing out of borough offers
- Reduce the council’s use of ‘intentional homelessness’ as a way to coerce people to take unsuitable homes. Hold a meeting with LRU to discuss this
- Work with LRU to write a motion at council calling for rent controls and use the licensing scheme to collect and publish data on rent levels.
- Meet regularly with the LRU
- Rule out the council setting up its own private renters union
In a meeting with LRU Haringey members, council leader Peray Ahmet committed to:
- Working with LRU to develop an action plan on significantly increasing enforcement action such as inspections, improvement notices and prosecutions and staffing levels, starting with a meeting/workshop with relevant council officers in 3-4 months.
- Working with us to set targets on enforcement action e.g. fines, inspections, improvement notices and prosecutions.
- Writing to officers to ensure the amount of frontline staff with new licensing money is maximised.
- Making a public commitment that there won’t be any data sharing or joint operations between the expanded landlord licensing scheme and UK border control and immigration.
- In principle support for 50 percent affordable housing on private land through Section 106 to help increase the amount of social value in all developments.
- Working with LRU on an action plan to reduce out of borough offers and the coercive use of threats of declaring people intentionally homeless to force people to accept unsuitable out of borough housing offers. Including, instructing officers to produce a report about the council’s use of out of borough offers and intentional homelessness decisions over time which outlines the steps that the council could take to address these issues and to share that report with us
- Working with us to pass a rent controls motion through council and a letter to Keir Starmer calling for rent controls in the next Labour manifesto.
Read the Tower Hamlets #SideWithRenters demands agreed by members.
Aspire Party: Candidate for Mayor Lutfur Rahman Tweeted a long statement endorsing the #SideWithRenters demands put forward by LRU members in full. “These seem like sensible and important goals and I can assure you that if I am elected on 5 May I will put the full force of my administration behind working to achieve them,” the statement said.
Liberal Democrats: Candidate for Mayor Rabina Khan pledged to support the #SideWithRenters demands in a meeting with LRU members.
Labour: In a meeting with LRU members, candidate for Mayor John Biggs committed to some of our demands including commitments to:
- increase the fines they give to landlords, and use the income to hire more enforcement officers
- start fining landlords who are illegally renting properties with low energy efficiency
- discuss with LRU how to expand licensing borough-wide
- meet regularly with LRU, and attend an accountability assembly in the winter.
- inspect all temporary accommodation before placing families there, and giving clear information on how to complain about issues with the property.
- pass a motion through the council calling on the government to introduce rent controls, and to collect data about rent levels as part of the licensing scheme.
- ensure disabled people can stay in temporary accommodation until all adaptations are finished on their new properties.
- ‘do everything in our power’ to raise targets for affordable housing in the new Local Plan.
JOIN THE LONDON RENTERS UNION
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Saturday 23rd April 2022, 10.45am - 3.45pm Common Room at Pelican House, 144 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E1 5QJIf you’ve joined as a member recently and want to get stuck in, or if you’ve been involved for a little while and want to know more about how the LRU works,...
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