A prominent consumer group claims that one in 10 tenants currently renting say they have at some point been evicted “for no cause” - and one in six say they have had their rent “unfairly increased”.
The claims come from the HomeOwners’ Alliance, which has published a new report on what they call “disgraceful” conditions and practices in the private rental sector.
The report says:
- 10 per cent of those renting a home have been evicted with no cause, one in six are on short-term leases with no security of tenure, and a similar number claim their rent has been unfairly increased in the past;
- Some 39 per cent have trouble getting their landlord to carry out essential repairs, while a similar number claim to live in cold and damp properties, and roughly the same proportion say they have anti-social neighbours;
- A third of respondents said they had been obliged to pay “high upfront charges” to lettings agents for references and inventories, prior to last Saturday’s introduction of the ban on fees levied on tenants in England;
- Some 60 per cent feel they will never be able to afford to own a home; additionally, some two thirds support the idea of the government’s Help to Buy scheme to raise a deposit although some are aware that it may cause property prices to rise.
“We have a crisis on our hands. A majority living in rented accommodation desperately want to buy a home of their own - yet most think this is a pipe dream. This shouldn’t be the case in the fifth strongest economy in the world” says Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance.
“Not only that, but it is disgraceful that such high numbers of people living in rented accommodation are putting up with damp, cold properties and reluctant landlords who do not maintain their homes to the required standards” she continues.
“Help to Buy continues to be a popular scheme despite fundamental leasehold problems, while features offered by Build to Rent developments are also attractive to consumers, including security of tenure. Shared ownership has also lost some of its shine.”
The survey by the HOA was sponsored by an insurance firm and an architectural consultancy; it was conducted in mid-March and involved a sample of 2,195 UK adults of which 728 were renters.