Our Safer Renting programme protects tenants who are victimised by criminal landlords by providing specialist advice, advocacy and support.
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 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. The project is currently working in Croydon, Enfield, Hounslow, Lewisham, Westminster and Waltham Forest, however, we are expanding into new partner boroughs and communities.
If you or your organisation would like to learn more about Safer Renting, please contact us at SaferRenting@ch1889.org or see the following service policy documents:
- Cambridge House Service Charter
- Safer Renting Client Handbook
- Complaints Policy
- Partnership Policy
- Service User Involvement Policy
Further Private Rented Housing Advice and Support
Safer Renting maintains a series of tenancy advice documents on:
- Legal and Illegal Evictions
- Tenant vs Licensee
- Rights of Sub-Tenants
- Deposit Protection
- Trespass to Goods
- Homelessness Applications
General housing advice can also be found at www.citizensadvice.org.uk while a useful list of law centres in London is maintained at www.lawcentres.org.uk.
A list of housing solicitors in London with contact details can be found here