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New charter to protect private tenants in Tower Hamlets

After lobbying Tower Hamlets Council for three years, private renters in the east London district have finally been granted a new charter protecting them against rogue landlords and illegal evictions.

The Tower Hamlets Private Renters’ Charter, which is being launched on 29 July, will offer private tenants “the right to live in a safe and secure home and be treated fairly”, following the success of a pilot landlord licensing scheme in Spitalfields and Whitechapel, which was started by Tower Hamlets Council in October last year.

“This new charter is for private renters to know their rights and know what standards to expect,” said the mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs.

“This is a big issue for growing numbers of people relying on private renting for their home,” he added.

The charter protects the 46,000 or so local private tenants against discrimination, demands fair tenancy terms and for letting fees to be displayed in agency offices and online.

In addition, the charter also demands no rent increase during fixed tenancy period, annual gas safety checks, a home free from damp and mould, working smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector.

The charter is supported by the Residential Landlords Association whose policy manager John Stewart commented: “The charter can deny space for crooks to operate who give the whole rented sector a bad name.”

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