Help for private sector tenants

Understanding your rights and responsibilities

As a private tenant, you have rights and responsibilities when you rent from a private landlord. 


Always research the type of tenancy you are agreeing to before signing any contracts with a landlord. 

See the housing charity Shelter – what to look for in your tenancy agreement.

Getting repairs done if you’re renting privately

See Citizen Advice – getting repairs done if you’re renting privately.

The housing charity Shelter has helpful guidance about repairs when privately renting.

Complain about poor or substandard private housing

We’re responsible for ensuring that people living in privately rented accommodation in Hackney have a safe and healthy home.

We will investigate complaints and can help fix the issue.

The types of issues we can help with include:

  • ensuring your home meets the minimum required standards
  • disrepair in your home
  • drainage and sewerage defects
  • pest control
  • disconnection of gas or electricity by your landlord
  • fire, gas and electrical safety
  • sharing amenities

Check if your landlord needs a property licence

Check your landlord has a property licence if you live in a property that:

  • meets the definition of being a house in multiple occupation (HMO) anywhere in Hackney
  • is located in Brownswood, Cazenove or Stoke Newington wards

See property licensing

Get help with evictions and harassment

See help with evictions and harassment.

External organisations offering support

If you are threatened with homelessness, have issues connected to renting or need free legal advice contact the national and local organisations listed for help.

Page updated on: 9 June 2023

Private Sector Housing


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


Opening times

  • Mon to Fri, 9am - 4pm