I've recently been getting up to speed with the slow pace of Boris Johnson's rather limited measures to improve life for London's private renters, so it's instructive to see what Hackney Council is doing in this area. The private rented sector has been increasing across the capital during this century, and now accounts for more than a quarter of all its households.
As everyone knows, there are too many fleecers and amateurs in the sector. Then, of course, there's the cost of it. A quick E5 google reveals that renting in Clapton can easily cost around £1,500 a month for just a one or two bed flat. Believe it or not, this neighbourhood used to be cheap.
So what is the Town Hall doing to help? As my photo shows, they have a public information campaign going to help make lettings agents and landlords as well as tenants more aware of their rights and responsibilities. They are presently conducting a review of the services they offer and conducting a survey into, among other things, whether a discretionary licensing scheme would improve standards.
There's no doubt that private renters all over Hackney want effective action and change for the better. There is, though, quite a difficult debate about exactly what to do. So be sure to give our council your views. The survey officially closes on 28 February.