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Renting in Hampstead and Kilburn

February 8, 2015 at 2:54 pm / by

More than one in three households in Hampstead and Kilburn are private tenants. Long-term renting has become increasingly common, especially in London, but private renters have relatively weak protections under the law.

That’s why I recently met Labour Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds MP and Advice4Renters, to discuss what a Labour government could do to improve tenants’ rights. We are proposing 3-year stable tenancies (where appropriate to the tenant), caps on excessive rent rises, and banning unfair letting agent fees, saving people entering a new tenancy an average of £350. We also want to introduce a national register of landlords, and proper sanctions for landlords breaking the rules.

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Willesden Lane, 3rd February

 

Bad landlords are often able to get away with poor behaviour because London’s dysfunctional housing market has choked up the supply of new homes. It does not help that the Conservatives have introduced policies to encourage more debt-driven demand for home owners and buy-to-let.

A Labour Government would address this; we will increase the number of homes built to 200,000 a year by 2020 and introduce a “use it or lose it” approach to sites awaiting development. More is needed, and that includes a creative approach to using brownfield sites, a reduction in red tape, and a new generation of garden cities around London. We also need to redefine affordable housing so that it always means “affordable” and not the “80% of full market value” as allowed under Boris Johnson’s current rules.

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