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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Renters’ rights at centre of surge in internet searches over virus period

There’s been a surge in Google searches for issues concerning renters’ rights during the Coronavirus crisis.

Research by heating company Boiler Plan suggests that searches for ‘tenants rights’ have increased by 15 per cent.

Key figures show:

- Google searches for ‘can my landlord evict me’ have increased by 52 per cent between February and April;

- The third most common question for private renters is ‘responsibilities as a tenant’;

- Despite the ban on tenant fees coming into force in June 2019, the fourth most-asked question on Google was ‘can letting agents charge fees’ while ‘what are tenancy fees’ is the sixth-most asked question in relation to private renting rights;

- In terms of regional searches, residents in Bristol search for ‘tenants rights’ on Google the most – averaging 540 searches per month.

- The second city most unsure of their ‘tenants rights’ is Belfast, with an average of 420 searches a month.

Specifically, the heating company’s analysis shows these as the top nine most Googled rental questions in the UK in April:

    1    ‘Can landlords increase rent’ - 3,200 Google searches

    2    ‘Can landlord evict me’ – 1,880 Google searches

    3    ‘Responsibilities as a tenant’ – 1,600 Google searches

    4    ‘Can letting agents charge fees’ – 760 Google searches

    5    ‘Can landlord keep deposit’ – 550 Google searches

    6    ‘What are tenancy fees’ – 250 Google searches

    7    ‘Can you paint a rented house’ – 220 Google searches

    8    ‘Does landlord have to fix boiler’ – 130 Google searches

    9    ‘What is landlord responsible to repair’ – 110 Google searches

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