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Letting agents urged to teach tenants to recycle

A London council is urging letting agents and landlords to sign a pledge to encourage tenants to use the local recycling regime. 

A lengthy statement to agents and landlords from Conservative controlled Wandsworth council includes the plea: “We ask you to help make sure that new tenants know how to dispose of their household waste and recycling responsibly. It’s also important that residents do the right thing with their waste during their tenancy, as well as importantly when they move out.”

Wandsworth says that by signing, landlords agree to ensure that tenants are aware of their responsibilities to dispose of their waste and recycling correctly. And any agents that sign agree to ensure that landlords they work with are aware of their responsibilities.


The pledge is actually signed by agents and landlords emailing the council but the wording of the pledge is very long and detailed - for the interest of LAT readers, we reproduce most of it below:



“All landlords and estate agents are invited to sign the pledge. By signing, landlords agree to ensure that tenants are aware of their responsibilities to dispose of their waste and recycling correctly.

“And any estate agents that signs up, agree to ensure that landlords they work with are aware of their responsibilities. And in return, we’ll publicise those who sign up by adding you to our website as a supporter.

“… What you pledge to do: The pledge is simple and means that by all working together we can help keep the borough looking at its best.

- Estate agents are invited to ensure that landlords are aware of their responsibilities.

- Landlords are invited to ensure that their tenants do the right thing when they move in, during their rental period, and importantly when they move out.

Your responsibility as a landlord

“As a landlord, please help everyone locally, by making sure your tenants know what to do with their waste.

“Please ensure,

- your tenants are disposing of their waste correctly. There is lots of information to help you do that on our website. See section below – rubbish, recycling and bulky waste collections.

- where applicable ensure that tenants have appropriate bins to dispose of their rubbish and can access any communal recycling and waste collection areas (bin stores). This includes taking all reasonable steps to make sure areas are kept clear to enable access to and collection from containers and providing any necessary key or access code to the tenant and council collection crews.

- that you use a licenced waste carrier to dispose of any business waste. Ensure the contractor has a Waste Carriers Licence and that a Duty of Care waste transfer note is provided showing the description and disposal route of the waste.

- any waste or unwanted bulky items (i.e. mattresses, furniture etc.) left at the property are removed appropriately from the premises.  

Rubbish, recycling and bulky waste collections 

“Below is all the information residents need to dispose of their waste correctly,  

- Put your rubbish out correctly to reduce the risk of missed bin collections.

- Find out what you can and can’t recycle …

- Make sure you know your rubbish collection day.

- If you have any large items, book a bulky waste collection or visit the household waste recycling centre. And don’t pay cowboys to take away your rubbish

- Rework, repair, sell or fix items at a reuse workshop

- Donate unwanted items via charity shops

- Donate, sell, giveaway, plus find and buy items online …

Remind residents of their responsibilities

As a landlord, you can help do your bit by reminding residents of their waste responsibilities,


Pre-tenancy: please provide tenants with information on recycling and waste services.

- Give residents information on our recycling and waste service, ensuring they have the opportunity to separate and dispose of their recycling and waste responsibly from the start of their tenancy (see section above).

- Written information can be provided as part of a ‘welcome pack’ or via a notice board, or be included within the inventory or appended to the tenancy agreement.

- For example, you could include a clause requiring the tenant to ‘store, separate and place for collection all recycling and residual waste (including bulky waste) in accordance with the written information provided at the start of the tenancy and in accordance with the policies set out by Wandsworth council.’

- Please sure that the correct communal bins are in place, where applicable, to enable tenants to responsibly separate and dispose of their recycling and waste.

During their tenancy: during a tenancy, check with residents that they are disposing of their waste and recycling correctly.

- When visiting the property (for example to carry out an inspection) you may want to check that tenants are storing and separating their recycling and waste and placing it for collection correctly.

- If you identify issues, remind the tenant of their responsibilities and encourage them to contact us if they have issues preventing them from managing their waste properly.

End of tenancy: once you know a tenancy is ending, please remind the tenant of their responsibilities for leaving recycling and waste out for final collection by the council and removing any extra or bulky waste that won’t fit in the bins responsibly or by using our bulky waste collection service or a registered waste collection business.

“Landlords should note that once a property becomes vacant, any waste or unwanted items left from the previous occupancy is no longer considered as household waste and becomes commercial waste, so you will need to arrange for disposal of any waste left behind.”

  • jeremy clarke

    More hand holding, next we'll be signing pledges to wipe tenant's backsides!

    Theodor Cable

    Surely only once a day?

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    Well, managing tenancies in both Southwark and Camberwell, I have a view on this.

    Our tenancies are not the problem, we check when we visit; however, the AirBnB in the same flats (and I am the Block Manager too) are the problem. They stay for a night, few nights, stuff everything into the same bag and stuff it in the waste - rarely do we see separation.

    We have lobbied the Lessees to better police their AirBnB occupiers, but many do not even live in the same post code!



    Get a grip mate.

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    Local Council should first teach their own social tenants how to recycle and if they are successful, then move on to the private sector.
    First clean up your own act before you go after private LL

  • Roger  Mellie

    You'd have to teach them how to clean and tidy up first.

  • Theodor Cable

    But we already know that that they are all a pile of sh*t.

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    Landlords live I assume in a house or a flat. Landlords are the same as tenants they too live in a house or flat and have the adult responsibility of responding to the request of the council waste department and environment agencies to recycle. Do we assume that the government Mp and councillors alike believe tenants to be less intelligent ? I’m a landlord not a babysitter or law enforcer.

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    Is if agents/landords don't have enought to do without babying tenants!

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    I'd love to tell the council what they can do with their pledge.

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    Everyone is missing the sting in the tail, “Landlords should note that once a property becomes vacant, any waste or unwanted items left from the previous occupancy is no longer considered as household waste and becomes commercial waste, so you will need to arrange for disposal of any waste left behind.”

    So if your tenants leave rubbish behind, the council, as well as charging you council tax on an empty property, will charge you for taking it away. Anyone else remember the good old days when councils served the public and were run by town clerks who were employees rather than CEOs on hundred of thousands a year?


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