Private Hackney tenants: do you have any “nightmare” stories to share?

Private tenants are being urged to share their “nightmare” stories about the harsh day to day reality of renting in Hackney to try and prove to politicians the extent of the problems they face.

Digs, a private tenants’ campaign group has launched its Tell Us Your Story campaign, in a bid to improve life for hard-hit Hackney renters who may be blighted by some of the highest inner London rent increases, damp properties, rogue letting agents or landlords refusing to carry out repairs.

The idea is to present the evidence collected at a public meeting on Saturday April 26 to push Hackney Council to take action ahead of the May local elections.

Heather Kennedy from Digs said: “With more and more families now in rented accommodation in Hackney many mums and dads have already been expressing concerns about the reality of no longer being able to provide their children with a decent family home.

“Renters are telling us about eye watering rent increases, landlord negligence and the reality of having to leave Hackney all together as their often well paid salaries are just not matching up to the spiralling rents.”

Jenny Folwell, who rents a small room in Homerton for £500pcm is one tenant who has shared her story.

She said: “The live-in landlord arbitrarily increased my rent and told me to get out if I didn’t like it.

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“He refused to give any written agreement and in the end I was living with a surly, arrogant and mean bully.”

Meanwhile another tenant, Karen Christensen from Lower Clapton, discovered work needed to be done to the kitchen roof after moving into a property.

She said: “It leaks and suffers from damp problems almost all year round, but all our requests for it to be looked at were either ignored or met with quick fixes.”

For more information and to share your story see www,

Anyone who shares a story is invited to a meeting at the New Kingshold Community Hall in Ainsworth Road, Hackney South, on Tuesday April 1 at 7pm to discuss how to present the evidence and challenge candidates from different political parties to improve the situation.