Standing up for renters in Lambeth

Lambeth, like most of London, is in the depths of an unprecedented housing crisis. Private renters in our borough have had a raw deal – with rising rents, over-crowding and a cycle of insecure tenancies. Most renters are unable to save for a deposit to own a home of their own while landlords profit from homes in poor condition and fail to carry out even the most basic of household repairs.

We know how hard it can be to rent in our city.

That’s why many in our diverse team of candidates have chosen to stand for the only party at Thursday 5th May’s local elections with a proven record of standing up for and protecting renters in our borough:

Lambeth Labour – the only party on the side of renters.

The Conservatives’ failure to build the homes we need has seen the number of people renting across our country double. They’ve let rogue landlords off the hook and rents spiral out of control. The Conservatives claim to be the party of home ownership, but in alone Lambeth, over a third of people rent privately with the average monthly cost of a two-bed exceeding £1,700 – becoming one of the most unaffordable places to rent in London. Pricing out families and our younger generation on low and medium incomes and having a disproportionate impact on women and many in our black and minority ethnic community.

Lambeth’s Labour Council has always been on your side.

In 2019, we introduced our Private Renter’s Charter that sets out renters’ rights and basic home standards, provides advice and support, and explains the council’s powers to intervene – and we have acted. Our landlord licensing scheme is clamping down on hidden renting fees and illegal house shares. We are naming and shaming the worst landlords and in 2020/21, we issued £49,000 of penalty notices on letting agents.

Lambeth Labour has consistently called for the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and we welcome the government U-turn to finally see the back of it. We are working closely with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in pressuring the government to devolve powers to control rent rises to London as we fundamentally believe rents should not exceed a third of a person’s income.

Lambeth has over 30,000 families on its housing waiting list and provides temporary accommodation to 2,700 families every night. To address this unprecedented crisis, we have embarked on our biggest council and affordable housebuilding programme in a generation. Delivering new, high-quality homes and achieving carbon reduction across housing developments, to build the modern, spacious, energy efficient homes to help with rising household bills to meet the needs of local families.

The homelessness crisis is not unique to Lambeth – under this Tory government, homelessness in the UK has gotten worse year on year. But we are investing £4m a year to dedicated services which offer support to those who are homeless. It’s our priority to keep families within Lambeth and provide good quality accommodation that is routinely inspected. This is in addition to our £35m annual programme of investment to improve existing council homes and make the adaptions needed for our disabled residents across our street properties and estates.

Our newly published manifesto, On Your Side, commits us to an ambitious programme that will deliver for renters and those in insecure housing:

  • Expand landlord licensing to double the number of homes in multiple occupation and introduce a targeted selective licensing scheme concentrated on hotspot areas for rogue landlords.
  • Act to name, shame and prosecute rogue landlords.
  • Build new council homes on disused land across the borough and work alongside our tenants to complete our estate regeneration programme to build better homes for them.
  • We’ll deliver major schemes in central Brixton, Clapham and Stockwell and continue to ensure that private developers maximise the number of genuinely affordable homes in their schemes.
  • Work with community groups like Lambeth Citizens to deliver more affordable and community-owned housing.

Unlike other parties, we don’t just shout from the side-lines. Lambeth Labour is taking real action to address the Conservatives’ housing crisis and secure a better deal for renters, and we will be on your side as we build a fairer borough together that works for everyone.