Lucy Powell MP and Cllr Kevin Peel invited Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey to meet local residents
Improving private rented housing, giving tenants stronger rights, cracking down on rogue landlords, taking action against dodgy letting agents and building management companies - all of these issues have been highlighted to us through our casework over the last several years.
In March 2014 Cllr Kevin Peel set up a housing taskforce made up of councillors from across the city with the specific aim of investigating the role of letting and managing agents in the private rented sector, promoting good practice and highlighting action that needs to be taken at a local and national level to tackle bad practice.
Cllr Kevin Peel presents our housing taskforce report to Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds MP
The taskforce, which also looked at wider issues in the private rented sector, met six times between March and October 2014 before producing its final report. Recommendations included:
- The city council will produce a new Tenants Charter outlining the rights and responsibilities of tenants, landlords, letting and managing agents
- Developing an online one-stop-shop of advice, information and support available to tenants and leaseholders experiencing difficulties with landlords and managing agents
- A new programme of trading standards visits to letting agents to make sure they are providing the correct information transparently about fees etc. to prospective renters
- Setting up new local forums between councillors and letting and managing agents to raise issues and promote best practice
- Encourage developers to set up resident management companies or resident control over appointing and removing management companies from the outset of new developments
- Lobby government to introduce regulation of letting and managing agents and scrap letting fees for tenants
Many of our recommendations have already been included in the city council's new Market Rental Strategy.
Cllr Kevin Peel presented the report to Labour's Shadow Housing Minister in Parliament in December 2014.
We'll be regularly reviewing the progress of these actions and continuing our work to improve housing in the city centre.
We're also keen to see new tenants and residents associations and neighbourhood forums established to bring neighbours together and give residents a stronger voice. Contact us if you'd like support to establish a group in your building / neighbourhood.
Our May 2014 manifesto commitment to tackle dodgy managing agents