You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Eviction fear sees tenants put up with shoddy or unsafe homes

0
Written by: Paloma Kubiak
16/04/2018
A quarter of a million private tenants in England who faced issues with their rental accommodation last year chose not to complain, fearing their landlord would raise their rent or end their tenancy.

More than two in five Citizens Advice staff (43%) said users worried about the consequences of complaining and this was the biggest issue for tenants seeking redress.

According to the charity, repairs and maintenance issues were commonly experienced by private tenants. More than 13,000 issues including mould, electrical faults and pest infestation were dealt with by advisers in person, over the phone, by email and via webchat last year.

But its research found that 41% of tenants waited longer than is reasonable for repairs to be carried out.

As a result, a third (33%) of people gave up on asserting their right to repair, 13% paid out of their own pocket and 7% relocated.

The charity also found that private tenants “face a complicated path” for redress against their landlord when they have a problem with their home:

  • Nearly half of renters (48%) didn’t think their landlord or agent had a complaints process
  • Almost nine in 10 Citizens Advice staff interviewed said people most often come for support after reporting the issue to their landlord or letting agent several times
  • More than one in seven (13%) tenants who experienced a problem didn’t complain because they were unable to contact their landlord or didn’t know how.

As a result, Citizens Advice is calling on the government to use the planned introduction of an ombudsman for private landlords to further protect tenants from “revenge eviction”.

It wants to see a redress scheme for private renters which is simple to use, with a single, recognisable portal through which tenants can register complaints.

Further, it should have the enforcement powers to punish rogue landlords as well as a mandatory membership so all renters are protected and “let-and-forget” landlords are also included.

Landlords who receive the most complaints should pay more towards the running of an ombudsman, keeping the costs low for the majority, the charity said.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “People who rent shabby or unsafe homes have few options when landlords let them down. Resolving disputes can be risky, costly and complicated.

“Our research shows many of these tenants fear eviction or rent hikes if they make a complaint about a problem including repairs, letting agents fees or deposit returns.

“We welcome the government’s proposal to extend redress to all private renters, bringing it into line with other consumer markets. However, for any scheme to be successful it must be simple, free and ensure renters are protected from losing their homes simply for raising a complaint.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Five ways to get on the property ladder without the Bank of Mum and Dad

A report suggests the Bank of Mum and Dad is running low on funds. Fortunately, there are other options for st...

The essential Your Money guide to the April 2018 tax changes

As we head into the 2018/19 tax year, a number of key changes take place to existing policies while some new i...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

YourMoney.com Awards 2018

Now in their 21st year, our awards recognise the companies offering the best products and services to consumers

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
MortgageInterest
‘Mortgage Freedom Day’ comes earlier this year

Today marks 'Mortgage Freedom Day' – the day the average new borrower will have earned enough to pay off the...

Close