Tenants Voice

We are working to platform the voices of those living in the Private Rental Sector and campaign on the issues that affect them

Many of the people who come to Z2K for housing or benefits support are tenants living in the private rental sector, facing high rents, cramped and poor conditions, unresponsive landlords, unexpected evictions, or any number of other problems faced by renters.

Our Tenants Voice work is part of a wider project funded by the Nationwide Foundation to bring the voices of private renters into public conversation about the sector, particularly those who aren’t getting heard.

We run a Tenants Voice group identifying the issues that most affect them and what needs to change to make life better for private renters. Many of Z2K’s clients and participants of the Tenants Voice project have contributed directly to our policy work, blogs, and Life after Lockdown project.

In 2019, the Conservative party committed to reforming the Private Rental Sector. In 2021, now in Government, they announced a White Paper, laying out what will be in a new Renters Reform bill.

Over the last two years, Z2K has brought together clients with experience of the Private Rented Sector to campaign for change. The group has looked hard at the Renters Reform White Paper, at what will be in it, and how it will affect them, and at what is not in it – what is being left unsaid and unaddressed.

Together, we are now proud to present a Tenants Voice Manifesto for Renters Reform.

Engagement and accountability

  • Policy should be made with the involvement of the people affected – renters including tenants’ groups, young people, and those usually left without a voice
  • We need to know the detail of the bill: e.g. what does a ‘lifetime’ deposit scheme look like?

Safety and security

  • End s.21 ‘no-fault’ eviction
  • No loopholes: landlords shouldn’t be able to evict tenants by using unfair rent raises

Decent quality housing kept in good repair

  • Greater clarity on the minimum standard for upkeep
  • Mandatory landlord licensing and a national landlord register
  • With funding for effective enforcement

Accessible & affordable housing

  • Provision of enough available housing that is affordable to everyone
  • Deposit schemes that work for tenants
  • LHA rates pinned to the median of market rent

Responsible & responsive ownership

  • More accountability in housing: of landlords, Government, councils, development companies

Community and quality of life

  • It must be possible to stay in your community and live in an integrated way
  • Access to transport, employment, education, and wellbeing opportunities

Court reform

  • A right for tenants to speak in front of the court

Council homeless support

  • More humanity in homeless processes
  • Councils must enact their duties in a timely and human way

As part of this work we have also come together with other housing, homeless and tenants rights group to launch the Renters Reform Coalition, calling on the government to extend the eviction ban to protect tenants during the Lockdown, and bring in a package of measures to support those facing Covid-related rent arrears in the longer term.