Shoddy conditions for sky-high rent? Brent survey for private tenants
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Do you privately rent a substandard or squalid flat or room in Brent? The council wants to hear from private renters.
Tenants are being asked to share the day-to-day issues that affect their quality of life through a survey run by Future of London on behalf of Brent council, which ends on Monday (May 31).
"It's hugely important people take part because I hear from people quite often who are living in the private sector," said Cllr Eleanor Southwood, lead member for housing and welfare.
"I really want to understand much more about their experience, particularly of older people who are living in the private rented sector that we don't hear about so much."
Around 130,000 people rent privately in Brent, some of whom live in shoddy conditions for sky-high rent or have dodgy landlords.
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"It's just horrifying some of what you hear. While lots of landlords are great – I rent privately myself – that's not always the case," she added.
"Because demand for a private rental is so high unfortunately a lot of landlords don't maintain properties properly.
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"It might not be dangerous but it's certainly not very nice. Things get run down, things break down over time and things are not refreshed.
"Lots of people are afraid to raise issues with their landlords because they are afraid of being evicted."
Some 33 per cent of people in Brent live below the poverty line after considering housing costs.
One of the recommendations of the council's independent Poverty Commission report last year was that the council should conduct a complete market review of the private rented sector – its scale, quality, rent levels, interactions with the benefits system and partner agencies, focusing on tenants' perspectives.
The survey is also open to statutory homeless people in private accommodation but not housing associations.
"We want to understand more about what people feel and see what the council can do to respond and what more can be done to improve the quality of life for thousands of renters," said Cllr Southwood.
All respondents to the survey will be in with a chance of winning a £50 gift voucher.
The survey is open until Monday (May 31).