Monday, 12 November 2012

Lewisham Private Tenants Group launch first meeting



Private tenants in Lewisham are currently isolated and under protected.  No organisation exists locally to work with private renters to help them improve their housing condition, and there are no support groups of private tenants to campaign for improved rights or to offer independent representation.

This is remarkable given that there are now more than 33,000 privately rented homes in Lewisham, making up over 30% of all properties in the borough.  Many private tenants face a range of issues affecting their quality of life, having to negotiate with letting agents and landlords alone, and with limited knowledge of their rights and who to turn to for help. 
It is particularly worrying as the situation of many private tenants looks set to become more precarious when the changes to benefit legislation come into place next April.

Against this background a group of private tenants will be coming together to discuss establishing a Lewisham Private Renters’ Association. 
Our first meeting will be held on Monday the 12th of November, 7.30pm to 9pm at New Cross Learning (Library), 283 – 285 New Cross Road, SE14 6AS.
We would love for as many people to join us at this first meeting and to input into the design of this exciting new group. 
Our initial thoughts are that the organisation would work across four areas:
1. Documenting and publicising the problems faced by private tenants in Lewisham
2. Developing solutions to those problems
3. Lobbying for improved rights and services for private tenants
4. Supporting groups of tenants to campaign on housing issues
Please come along and be part of this initiative, which has the potential to join a growing number of similar organisations across London working to provide private tenants with a voice. 
If you are interested in attending the meeting or finding out more about the organisation, please get in touch with James Scott at lewishamprivaterenters@gmail.com.

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