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200,000 Rental Sector Tenants Across England Are Estimated To Have Faced A "revenge Eviction" In The Last Year

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Telegraph 12/3/14

'More than 200,000 rental sector tenants across England are estimated to have faced a "revenge eviction" in the last year after asking for a problem with their home to be put right, according to research for charity Shelter. One in 50 (2 per cent) private sector tenants said they had been evicted or served with an eviction notice because they had complained to their landlord, letting agent or council about something that was not the tenant's responsibility, such as a repair that needed fixing.

This equates to more than 213,000 people if the figures are projected across England.

The YouGov survey of more than 4,500 private renters suggested that many more renters are too scared of losing their home to complain at all.

One in 12 renters (8pc) say they have avoided asking their landlord to repair a problem or improve conditions in the last year because they were scared of eviction.

More than two-fifths (41pc) of renters said they have experienced mould in their homes in the past year, while a quarter (25pc) have lived with a leaking roof or windows, and 16pc have had electrical hazards.

Meanwhile, separate research carried out by Shelter found "shocking cases of revenge evictions" taking place across the country.

The charity said that a family in Norfolk had been handed an eviction notice three weeks after reporting damp and mould to their landlord, while a couple in Brighton who complained about a broken thermostat, mould and damp that was affecting their health, were served an eviction notice a week later.

A family from Lancashire was evicted after complaining about a leaking roof, who were told by their landlord that it "wasn't worth his while" to fix the problem, Shelter said.

The charity is launching an online petition at http://www.shelter.org.uk/9millionrenters, campaigning for the Government to protect renters from "unfair" evictions.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "No-one should lose their home for asking their landlord to fix a problem, yet these shocking findings uncover the true scale of unfair evictions taking place across the country."

Research was commissioned by Shelter and British Gas as part of their partnership to improve the conditions of privately rented homes.

Matt Hutchinson, director of flat and house-share website SpareRoom.co.uk, said the strength of demand for rental properties in some areas of the UK means that the website is seeing as many as 12 people compete for every room advertised.

He said: "With demand far outstripping supply in the private rented sector, tenants can be left feeling utterly powerless to complain about living standards - because they know they're easily replaced.

"Everybody has the right to expect a decent standard of accommodation, whether they own, rent or share their homes. It's unacceptable to have people living in poor conditions simply because they're afraid to complain for fear of eviction."

Mr Hutchinson cautioned that regulatory intervention should not make it harder for good landlords to operate.

The Residential Landlords Association rejected the study's conclusions.

Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said: “Shelter are once again needlessly playing to people’s fears.

“Whilst the RLA accepts that there are landlords who should be rooted out of the sector, the fact that almost 98pc of tenants have not faced the problems should be a sober reminder to Shelter that the majority of tenants face no problems whatsoever with their landlord.

“The best response to the problems that Shelter identifies is to encourage more good landlords into the sector in order to boost the supply of homes to rent and to provide tenants with genuine choices over where they live. Shelter’s continued vilification of landlords will serve only to put the good landlords off further investment in the sector and push tenants into the hands of those operating under the radar.”'

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Matt Hutchinson sounds like an idiot. 12 people competing for every room??? Perhaps they are shopping around? How many rooms are competing for every tenant? It's because of stupid propaganda like this that people feel scared to complain. If they were aware of their market power, their life would improve substantially and unscrupulous landlords would be kept in check.

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We need 5 year tenancies. It's the RIGHT thing to do for hard-working British renters.

Or judges who throw tosspot landlords out of court when trying to evict for askign for repairs.

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The legals on a 'more than 3 year' tenancy are different.

3 year tenancy is very do-able.

Not without an opt out clause. You are on the hook for 3 years if you sign.

AST's are not designed to give you security. Only to secure the rentiers cash flow.

Edited by aSecureTenant

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Not without an opt out clause. You are on the hook for 3 years if you sign.

AST's are not designed to give you security. Only to secure the rentiers cash flow.

Well tbh they don't do that very well.

There's another way of offering long term security - some deed thing which the LL promises to pay cash if they end the tenancy sooner.

Annual reletting is a waste of everyone's time and money.

The local LL on this street threw his tenant out back in July. Put it on the market. Failed to sell at his insane price so got a new tenant last month.

Threw his other tenant out in January (he has loads of houses on this street) and that's still empty. And it needs a skip to clear the garden now cos rather than take their rubbish with them they left it.

He did sell one he put up but only after a long time.

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