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Half of Tenants 'get stuck' if letting agents fail to solve problems

Half of all private renters would not know where to turn to if a letting agent failed to address a problem in a property.

That’s according to a new survey of over 2,000 private renters conducted by the TDS Charitable Foundation, which works to advance education about housing rights and obligations in the private rented sector.

Whilst just over 49 per cent of tenants knew where they would turn to for help if their agent or landlord did not address a problem in the first instance, a little over 50 per cent did not know.


The survey found that tenants want much better guidance about where to turn to for help. Almost half (48 per cent) said they wanted clearer information about how to raise a complaint when needed.

Nearly seven in ten (69 per cent) tenants said they would use a website dedicated to helping people to solve their housing issues if they had a problem with their tenancy.

In consultation with tenant, landlord, letting agent and justice groups, the TDS Charitable Foundation is working to develop such a site. 

The ‘My Housing Issue’ Gateway will provide a central location for tenants to understand where, and how, to direct concerns they might have regarding their rental property.

The data comes as the Renters Reform Bill proposes a range of new rights for tenants which will need to be enforced. 

These include a new Decent Homes Standard for private rented housing, and measures to prevent discrimination against benefit claimants and families with children.

The Bill will also establish a new Ombudsman covering private sector landlords, to operate alongside the enforcement roles already played by councils, the courts, the police, tenancy deposit schemes, letting agent redress schemes and trading standards.

Dr Jennifer Harris, Head of Policy and Research at TDS Group, says: “The Renters Reform Bill will see the biggest shake up of the private rented sector for a generation. However, it runs the risk of failing to achieve its objectives if tenants do not feel confident about where to go for help when things go wrong.

“New rights for tenants need to be matched by improved access to information about how to enforce them. Without this, the only winners will be the minority of landlords that are failing to provide safe housing.

“That’s why the TDS Charitable Foundation is developing the “My Housing Issue” Gateway service to ensure tenants can easily establish where, and how, to direct complaints and concerns they might have.”

  • icon

    Shelter has competition it would seem.


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