Quarter of tenants do not seek repairs for fear of eviction, survey finds | UK News

A quarter of private tenants in England have refrained from asking for repairs to be carried out for fear of eviction, according to a new poll.

The number of tenants evicted or threatened with eviction after complaining to the council, landlord or letting agent about repairs, conditions or harassment in the last three years was almost three times higher than those who had not complained, according to the research.

The YouGov poll of 2,006 tenants aged 16 and over, for UK homelessness and housing charity Shelter, found that 76% had experienced dilapidation in the past year, 25% not asking for repairs or improvement of conditions for fear of being evicted.

Elsewhere in the survey, 21% of those who complained to the council, landlord or letting agent had been evicted or threatened with eviction in the same period, compared to 8% who had not complained complaint.

In light of the poll results, Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said private tenants find themselves in a “terrible catch-22” as they have to “either shut up and put up with the dilapidation” or risk be expelled.

The government has said it is “absolutely committed to delivering a fairer deal for tenants” and will ban Section 21 orders as part of its Tenant Reform Bill in this parliament “so that all tenants enjoy greater security in their homes and are empowered to challenge poor conditions and unreasonable rent increases”.

Section 21 allows private landlords to repossess their property from insured short-term tenants without having to establish tenant fault.

However, Ms Neate accused the government of ‘dragging’ on the bill.

“Day after day, Shelter hears of people shelling out huge sums in rent while living in nightmarish conditions because private renting is woefully under-regulated,” she said.

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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 they would cost their house.”

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

“Tenants can’t wait any longer, the government must urgently pass its Tenant Reform Bill to protect tenants who speak out against poor conditions from unfair evictions and homelessness.”

The government’s plan to tackle anti-social behavior was released on Monday but has come under fire from charities who have raised concerns over its ‘three strikes and you’re out’ plan to speed up the process of withdrawal of antisocial tenants and make the two-week notice period “for all grounds of eviction incivilities”.

Sky news

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