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Private tenant rights

Protection for tenants

By law, all landlords (who own a rented property) have to make sure their properties meet certain standards. The council can help to make sure landlords keep their properties to an acceptable standard.

Many landlords are accredited under the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme, which isn't a guarantee but may be an indication of a commitment to good practices.

There are also laws which cover estate agents who deal with rental properties – which include protecting deposits and being clear and transparent about their fees.  They also have to be a part of a redress scheme. This means that tenants can go to an independent organisation to look into any complaint a tenant may have about an agent.  

When searching for a property, look out for lettings agents that are part of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA)National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) , or the Mayor of London’s London Rental Standard. They all comply with industry codes of practice including protecting your money and insurance issues. 

Report poor housing Toggle accordion

If you rent a property from a private landlord, your landlord has a duty to put things right if the rented property suffers from poor repair, damp or if it has inadequate maintenance.

If you have complained to your landlord or agent and the problems persist, we can use a range of enforcement powers to ensure that problems are addressed.

Use our referral form to report poor housing. Once you’ve returned your form, we’ll write to your landlord giving them an opportunity to deal with your issues. Should your landlord fail to carry out the work, and assuming there were no problems with your landlord accessing your home to undertake repairs, a housing standards officer will visit your property to carry out a full assessment to pick up disrepair items that are likely to affect your health and safety.

Poor housing referral form (PDF, 184 KB)

Report your landlord Toggle accordion

If you feel that your landlord is not fulfilling their obligations, contact our Private Rented Property Licensing team.

We will pass on the case to a housing standards officer, who will contact you to discuss the situation. Usually they will then visit you and decide if any further action is required.

Private Rented Property Licensing team

Barking Town Hall, 1 Clock House Avenue, Barking IG11 7LU

020 8724 8898

Harassment and illegal eviction Toggle accordion

We may be able to help if your landlord is harassing you or trying to evict you illegally. Harassment means the illegal disruption of the right of a tenant to live undisturbed in their home. It is usually done to cause the tenants to leave the property.

We will take all appropriate steps necessary to stop this practice. It is important to take action as early as possible. GOV.UK has more guidance on harassment and illegal eviction.

Contact us

If you are being harassed or threatened with illegal eviction by your landlord, contact our housing advice team for help and advice.

Housing Advice team

John Smith House, Bevan Avenue, Barking IG11 9LL

020 8215 3002

Empty or dilapidated properties Toggle accordion

Long-term empty properties

We try to keep the number of long-term empty properties in the borough as low as possible. We are committed to taking action to bring properties which are left vacant for no good reason back into residential use.

If the property is not returned to residential use and it is having a detrimental effect on the local area, we may consider enforcement action.

Residential properties

A long-term empty property is a property that has been empty for more than six months. When we become aware of such a property we will work with the owners, offering advice and support to help them return the property to residential use.

Empty homes grants

In some cases, empty homes grants of up to £20,000 could be available to owners to help bring the property back into residential use.

We can offer advice about the options for letting that are available to private tenants, private sector leasing and repairing and improving the property for letting with an empty homes grant.

Contact us

If you want to report an empty property or you are interested in applying for an empty homes grant, contact our Empty Property Unit.

Compulsory purchase orders Toggle accordion

Compulsory purchase orders are used as a last resort when owners of properties refuse to take action to improve the condition of their land or buildings. In these circumstances, using powers issued under Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985, we can bring empty properties back into residential use.

A housing gain would be achieved by selling the properties on the open market. The prospective purchasers would enter into a covenant with us to ensure the properties are fully renovated within a defined timescale and brought back to residential use.

Contact us

If you have any queries about compulsory purchase orders, contact our Empty Property Unit.

82 Oval Road South

Compulsory purchase orders issued

82 Oval Road South compulsory purchase order (PDF, 177.15 KB)

82 Oval Road South statement of reasons (PDF, 329.61 KB)

Compulsory purchase order confirmations

On 12 October 2017 the compulsory purchase order for 82 Oval Road South was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with modifications to Table 1 of the Order.  Notice of confirmation of the order and notice of intention to make a general vesting declaration was published in the Barking and Dagenham Post and the London Gazette on Wednesday 8 November 2017, from which date the order became operative.

82 Oval Road South confirmation of compulsory purchase order (PDF, 182.00 KB)

82 Oval Rd South General Vesting Declaration (PDF, 131.45 KB)

Empty Property Unit

020 8215 3002