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Renters who complain are twice as likely to be evicted

Rebecca Goodman
Written By:
Rebecca Goodman
Posted:
Updated:
30/03/2023

Private renters who complain to a landlord, letting agent or local council are two and a half times more likely to be handed an eviction notice, a charity survey reveals.

Those who make a complaint about things like damp or dangerous exposed wires are 159% more likely to be evicted, when compared to those who stay silent.

This means millions of renters are living in poor conditions with 25% putting up with their current situation instead of risking eviction.

Three in four renters – equivalent to more than 6.2 million – said they have experienced disrepair in their home, according to the data from Shelter.

Over half of the 2,000 who responded to the charity said they have had issues with damp and mould, 31% with lack of hot water or heating while 18% said there were electrical hazards in their home.

The charity said it has also seen a rise in people seeking its services, with its page on disrepair in rented properties being accessed every 18 seconds, a 53% annual rise.

It comes as separate data suggests average rents are up 11% annually.

The Government ‘has left private renters in a terrible catch 22’

Shelter is calling on the Government to bring forward the delayed Renters’ Reform Bill to help millions of people who are forced to live in poor conditions or risk facing eviction.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “By dragging its heels on the Renters Reform Bill, the Government has left private renters in a terrible catch 22 – they either shut up and put up with disrepair, or risk more than doubling their chances of eviction in a cost-of-living crisis.

“Day in day out Shelter hears from people who are forking out huge sums on rent while living in nightmarish conditions because private renting is woefully under-regulated. It is a travesty that so many private renters are too afraid to complain about the mould growing all over their kids’ clothes, or the water pouring in through broken window frames, in case it costs them their home.

“Renters are bearing the brunt of Government dithering over urgently needed private rental reforms. Renters can’t wait any longer, the Government must urgently make its Renters’ Reform Bill law to protect tenants who call out poor conditions from unfair evictions and homelessness.“

More than half of tenants worried about affording their rent

Just over half of renters are worried about not being able to pay for their housing costs in the future and 33% have seen their rent rise in the last year.

Half of those who moved in the last year said they are now paying between £51 and £200 more than they did last year, according to separate data.

While 23% of the 2,000 people who took part in the survey for the Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) said they are struggling to pay their rent.

Of those who have moved, 62% said they are paying a higher level of rent than they expected and 64% have made financial sacrifices for this.