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 Nationwide 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. Some of the recommendations that have come out of this so far are:

    • Housing should be affordable to everyone 

Rent should not have to take up most of your income. For those on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, these should be sufficient to cover your rent, and leave you enough to live on.

    • Housing should be secure

Renters should be able to live without constant fear of eviction. Ending S.21 ‘no-fault’ evictions would protect tenants from being evicted without cause.

    • Private tenants need greater control over their lives

If a tenant can’t afford a deposit, they can’t rent, or move house, and wind up stuck in poor conditions. A ‘deposit passporting’ scheme would allow tenants to move their deposit to the next property, giving them the freedom to move.

    • All rented properties should meet a basic standard

Mandatory landlord licensing would enable tenants to get council support facing landlords who won’t deal with issues like damp, infestation and disrepair.

    • People deserve respect and support when going through homelessness

Councils need proper funding to support people when they find themselves homeless, and make sure to treat people with dignity, respect and compassion.

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.

Many of Z2K’s clients and participants of the Tenants Voice project have contributed directly to our policy work, including our response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on homelessness and the private rented sector. You can read our National Policy Submissions here.

In 2021 Tenants are Still at the Mercy of their Landlord

Katarina tells a story of mistreatment, disrespect, and lack of compassion from landlords who know the power they have over her

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Renters Need Change Now

Housing law allows landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason - meaning people like Okwuchi often face prejudice or are punished for asking for repairs.

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The End of the Eviction Ban leaves Renters without a Safety Net

Without the eviction ban in place, a notice period of 6months doesn't give renters security

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Lockdown life - Bringing People Together to Tell Stories for Change

Throughout Lockdown, Z2K has been bringing people together in online groups to talk about their experience of Universal Credit and the Private Rented Sector (PRS)

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When Isolating at Home is as Bad for Your Health as Going Out

Self-isolation is necessary to get Covid-19 under control. For many of us, it’s also boring, uncomfortable, and a reminder of all the reasons we love (and are irritated by!) our families. But for some of the people Z2K works with, living on Social Security benefits and renting from private landlords, self-isolation means something different.

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The Grim Reality of Homelessness, Sofa-Surfing, and the Sharp End of Renting in London

At Z2K we’ve begun a new project looking to amplify the voices of some of our clients. Rose and John co-write this piece detailing John's experiences of homelessness, sofa-surfing, and sharp end of renting in London.

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