Rented housing needs regulation

Councillor Klute (“Level of service just will not do,” Viewpoints, Gazette, October 28) illustrates exactly why it is that our rented housing is in need of regulation.

A professional company asked to justify its decisions as to what work is necessary would produce a properly prepared survey report, references to the relevant standards and the legal requirements.

A cowboy operation would come up with such daft, blanket statements as that all wiring must be replaced because wiring “wears out”.

When tenants complain of this sort of nonsense, their landlords typically come back with reassurances of their concern, statistics from their satisfaction surveys and requests for specific details of failures.

At best the landlord creates a diversion by dealing with the failures listed but leaves the systemic shortcomings in place to guarantee future failure. It should not be necessary for tenants, who anyway do not have the necessary resources, to catalogue failures but it is the responsibility of landlords to have measures in place geared towards preventing them.

Council tenants exercising the “right to manage” their housing are required to set out specific policies and procedures in writing. Surely it is only correct that tenants demand the same of their landlords.

Islington Council should right now be busy empowering tenant panels through which each and every tenant of social housing in the borough should be able to connect with processes of tenant inspection and regulation.

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It might even want to provide an exemplar for other boroughs by considering the plight of private tenants. – Chris Graham, Tollington Park, N4.