How many private renters in Barking and Dagenham are there?
In 2015, the Office for National Statistics found 49,500 private renters. The current figure is probably even higher, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find private renters to campaign with.
If renting is so bad, why don’t private renters just buy a house?
Because in Barking and Dagenham, the average home costs nearly ten times the average earnings.
Why can’t they get a council house then?
Because there are currently 6,704 households waiting for a council house in the borough. This means that many will be waiting for years, if they are ever able to get a council tenancy at all!
Looks like we’re stuck in the private rented sector then. What’s it going to cost?
In the 12 months leading up to March 2016, according to the Valuation Office Agency, median (average) monthly rents for Barking and Dagenham were:
Room in a shared house: £520
One bedroom flat: £850
Two bedroom flat: £1,100
Three bedroom property: £1,300
Four bedroom property: £1,650
Remember that these figures don’t include fuel or council tax bills.
That’s a lot. I guess that means a lot of private renters have to claim housing benefit to stay alive then?
Yes, even though these prices aren’t anywhere near as expensive as some inner London boroughs, 7,191 private renters need housing benefit to cover their rent.
And does housing benefit cover it?
No. The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the maximum amount of housing benefit you can get, regardless of whether you’re a private renter (renting from a private landlord) or a social renter (renting from the council or a housing association). The monthly LHA in Barking and Dagenham is:
Shared Accommodation Rate: £325.65
One Bedroom Rate: £647.14
Two Bedrooms Rate: £834.69
Three Bedrooms Rate: £1,050.40
Four Bedrooms Rate: £1,355,33
Can I talk to someone at the council about problems with my private landlord?
Yes, if your accommodation is in disrepair, damp or just poorly maintained, email
You should also contact the licensing team if you think that your landlord is not fulfilling all their legal obligations. They will pass your case on to a Housing Standards Officer, who will discuss your situation with you. Housing Standards may visit you, to help decide on what action is required.
Also, Barking and Dagenham council runs a Housing Advice Service. If you landlord is harassing you or trying to evict you illegally, or if you are at risk of homelessness within the next 90 days, contact the Housing Advice Service.
Based at John Smith House, Bevan Avenue, Barking, the service operates on an appointment basis. Telephone 020 8724 8323 to make an appointment or to speak to someone over the phone. There’s an out-of-hours line, too; 020 8215 3000. Alternatively, you can contact the Housing Advice Service via email
Are there any Tenancy Relations Officers (TROs)?
The Housing Standards Office does a very similar job. Then, the Housing Access and Referral Team (HART) works to prevent homelessness, and help people with additional needs to live independently. Find out more about the HART service here.
Do private landlords in Barking and Dagenham have to get a licence?
Yes! Borough-wide Private Rented Property licensing scheme has been in place since 2014. So, all landlords and/or property managing agents renting out a property in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham should have a licence by now. If you know of a rental that is not licensed, please send a quick email to to let them know.
Does Barking and Dagenham council run a non-profit letting agency for private renters?
Is there a stand alone PRS strategy in Barking and Dagenham Council’s housing policy?
Yes. The Housing Strategy 2014-2017 outlines aims and priorities for improvements in the private rented sector. These included improving energy efficiency, and of course, mandatory licensing, which has now been achieved across the borough.
Does Barking and Dagenham council have a Private Rented Sector (PRS) forum, where private renters can discuss ways to make private renting better?
Back in 2012, the Living and Working select committee proposed establishment of a private renters’ forum, similar to Camden Federation of Private Tenants. We’re are still waiting for an update on this from the council, though. If you live in Barking & Dagenham and you’d like to see a renters’ forum set up, you could let them know you’re interested.
How many criminal landlords has Barking and Dagenham council prosecuted recently?
According to the Council website, “in recent months” Barking & Dagenham council has undertaken 28 prosecutions of criminal landlords and further action against over 200 landlords or letting agents whose privately let properties were did not meet minimum standards.
Who else should I talk to about making private renting fairer in Barking and Dagenham fairer?
Every council is divided between Councillors, who are elected politicians, and non-political officers, who are appointed to do a particular job. In Barking and Dagenham, it might be useful to talk to
Cllr. Margaret Mullane
Cabinet Member for Enforcement & Community Safety
1 Town Square