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Tenants who complain about disrepair are twice as likely to be evicted

YouGov survey finds tenants reluctant to contact landlord about repairs for fear of receiving an eviction notice

Tenants who complain of dilapidation are twice as likely to receive an eviction notice from their landlord, reveals Shelter, a homeless charity

  • A quarter of tenants avoided seeking repairs for fear of eviction
  • More than 75% of tenants have suffered damage to their accommodation

According to a new study, private tenants who complain to their landlord about poor condition are more than twice as likely to receive an eviction notice.

Data from homeless charity Shelter, compiled by YouGov, reveals that tenants who contacted their landlord, letting agent or council in the last three years about the condition of their property were 159% more likely to receive two months’ notice to move than those who did not.

The research found that 25% of tenants, or just over 2 million people, had avoided asking their landlord for repairs or improvements to conditions for fear of being evicted.

YouGov survey finds tenants reluctant to contact landlord about repairs for fear of receiving an eviction notice

YouGov survey finds tenants reluctant to contact landlord about repairs for fear of receiving an eviction notice

The research also found that more than three in four (76%) private tenants in England have suffered damage to their home.

More than half had problems with humidity or mould, and almost a third lack of hot water or heating.

The survey results match user data on the Shelter website. Since the beginning of the year, Shelter’s online advice pages on dilapidation have been consulted every 18 seconds. This is a 53% increase over the same period last year.

The findings come amid a wave of proposed changes for the private rental sector. The government’s long-awaited Tenant Reform Bill is set to abolish ‘no-fault’ evictions, also known as Section 21s, which allow landlords to give a tenant two months’ notice to vacate a property without giving a reason.

However, the government has also announced measures to strengthen the rights of landlords seeking to evict anti-social tenants as part of its new anti-social behavior action plan.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘By dragging its heels on the Tenant Reform Bill, the Government has left private tenants in a terrible grip 22 – they shut up and bear the dilapidation, or risk more than double their chances of deportation in a cost of living crisis.


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‘It’s a travesty that so many private tenants are too scared to complain about mold growing on their children’s clothes or water leaking through broken window frames, just in case. would cost them their house.

“Tenants are bearing the brunt of government dithering over urgently needed private tenancy reforms.”

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “No tenant should have to put up with unsafe housing. It is important that they have the confidence to challenge low standards where they see them.

“There are nearly 170 laws affecting the private rental sector, including those protecting tenants from so-called “revenge” evictions. Councils need to make better use of these powers to protect tenants from rogue and criminal landlords.

The concern of landlords around the abolition of Section 21 is that they will not be able to reclaim their property without a no-fault eviction.

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