THOUSANDS of people who rent their home in the North-East are too scared of being evicted to ask their private landlord to fix a problem in their home, according to a charity.

A poll for homeless charity Shelter found that one in 12 renters - eight per cent - in the North-East avoided asking their landlord to repair a problem or improve conditions in the last year because they feared eviction.

One in 100 private renters said they had actually been evicted or served with an eviction notice because they complained to their landlord, letting agent or council about a problem that was not their responsibility.

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Shelter said it had also uncovered shocking cases of so-called revenge evictions across the country, including a family handed an eviction notice three weeks after reporting damp and mould to their landlord and a couple who complained about a broken thermostat, mould and damp that was affecting their health, and were served an eviction notice just a week later.

The charity is launching an online petition at www.shelter.org.uk/9millionrenters, campaigning for the Government to protect renters from revenge evictions.