Our Safer Renting programme protects tenants who are victimised by criminal landlords by providing specialist advice, advocacy and support.
The ending of a private tenancy has become the leading cause of homelessness, accounting for 41% of all cases in London. Our programme helps to keep residents in their homes and off the streets, thereby bolstering the strength and resilience of our communities.
The objectives of Safer Renting are:
- Preventing homelessness, particularly by intervening in illegal evictions.
- Supporting private renters to negotiate better conditions in their homes.
- Enabling private renters to leave a criminal landlord on their own terms, with compensation whenever possible.
- To inform government policy and best practice by analysing and communicating how criminal landlords are exploiting the London housing crisis at the expense of tenants.
The private rental market serving low-income Londoners is under-regulated and exploitative, characterised by dangerously poor physical standards and low or non-existent security of tenure. Low-income families are increasingly being housed in these environments and their problems are largely hidden from view. Increasing numbers end up in ‘slum rental’ accommodation provided by criminal landlords or become at risk of homelessness. Currently little is being done directly to support vulnerable private tenants; many become street homeless while others end up back in slum rental accommodation.
Safer Renting is the only service of its kind, and our 2016 pilot showed us just how great the need is for private tenant support services.
The project is currently working in Croydon, Enfield, Hounslow, Lewisham, Westminster and Waltham Forest, however, we are expanding into new partner boroughs and communities.