Who to contact if things go wrong

Council contacts

Pest control and clinical waste

The Council's Hygiene Services can provide:

Trading standards

Hackney Trading Standards promotes and maintains fair trading, protects consumers and enables reputable businesses to thrive within Hackney. For privately-renting tenants, this includes:

  • energy performance certificates: a requirement for landlords to provide you with one when you take up a new tenancy
  • fire safety of upholstered furniture provided in furnished tenancies

Housing options and advice

If you think you might be at risk of being made homeless, and have been unable to resolve the matter with your landlord, the Council's Housing Advice and Options service should be your first point of contact, and will do all it can to prevent you from becoming homeless.

Benefits

The Council's Benefits service is responsible for the payment of:

  • housing benefit (for tenants of social-rented homes) and local housing allowance (for privately-renting tenants) - these help you pay your rent if you are on a low income, whether you are working or not
  • council tax reduction (formerly council tax benefit) - you may be able to claim council tax reduction to help your bill
  • discretionary housing payments (DHPs) - short-term, emergency payments to help those already in receipt of housing benefit or council tax reduction adjust to national housing or welfare reforms

Contact the Benefits Service if you would like a claim form or to arrange for an interview. You can use the benefit claim calculator to see how much you may qualify for. 

Private Sector Housing

The Council's Private Sector Housing service is responsible for ensuring that people who live in accommodation not owned by the Council have a safe and healthy home.

It enforces minimum legal standards and provides advice to ensure that both tenants and landlords know what is required of them and what they should expect from each other. The service can assist with:

  • national minimum standards for privately rented homes
  • disrepair
  • drainage and sewerage defects
  • some pest control issues
  • disconnection of gas or electricity by your landlord
  • fire, gas and electrical safety
  • sharing of amenities

If you are a privately-renting tenant or a housing association tenant and you have a problem, contact your landlord or their agent first. If this does not resolve the issue, please contact us on using the details on this page.

Noise

Living in a busy city area means that there will always be a certain level of noise. This doesn't mean that you should have to put up with excessive noise (especially through the night), as this can often be stressful. If you do not feel confident discussing the cause of noise with your neighbours, the Council provides an out of hours service to investigate and address the issue where appropriate. 

Local and national support

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

Crisis

Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people, which funds organisations that help single homeless people find and then keep a private rented home.

Digs

Digs campaigns for a better deal for people renting locally; a private tenant information and support group, run by Hackney renters, for Hackney renters. Digs's activities include:

  • providing information workshops for Hackney renters
  • offering mutual support to tenants like us
  • training for 'tenant champions' across Hackney
  • hosting an online platform for support
  • campaigning for a better deal for tenants

Digs support anyone who is renting privately in Hackney or who is homeless or insecurely housed and trying to find a home in Hackney's private rented sector. Membership is free and open to all.

Hackney Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

The CAB provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to people on their rights and responsibilities.

Based in Mare Street, the bureau also offers advice at a very wide range of venues including GP surgeries and childrens' centres across the borough. 

Hackney Community Law Centre

Hackney Community Law Centre is a charity employing solicitors and paralegals to provide free and independent legal advice and representation to people living, working or studying in Hackney and neighbouring boroughs.

The law centre provides legal advice and representation in the following areas:

  • debt problems
  • housing problems
  • immigration and asylum
  • employment rights
  • discrimination
  • welfare benefits

Shelter

Shelter is a national charity that works to alleviate distress caused by homelessness and bad housing, through provision of free, confidential advice, information and advocacy.

Page updated: 10/03/2016 12:23:26