Call for action on revenge evictions

To let signs outside Darlington houses

To let signs outside Darlington houses

First published in News

A CHARITY has warned about the menace of revenge evictions after new figures revealed a rise in pleas for help from people at risk of losing their home.

Shelter said more than 100 people in the North-East who rented their home had called its helpline in the last year - compared to 68 the previous year.

The charity said the increase was a sign that the private rental market was becoming increasingly unstable.

Results from a survey conducted by the charity revealed that one in 12 renters 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 said they had actually been evicted or served with an eviction notice because they complained to their landlord about a problem that was not their responsibility.

The survey also revealed that more than 40 per cent of people surveyed in the North-East reported problems with mould, while 26 per cent were forced to live with a leaking roof or windows, and 18 per cent had electrical hazards.

With England’s shortage of affordable homes forcing more people into private renting every day, Shelter said the problem of revenge evictions is becoming even more concerning.

According to the charity, more than 200 households across the North-East are at risk of losing their home every week through an eviction or repossession.

Campbell Robb, Shelter's chief executive said: “This is yet more evidence of the shocking reality that renters across the country are facing every day.

“No-one should lose their home for asking their landlord to fix a problem. The Government has to protect England’s nine million renters from unfair evictions.”

Shelter is calling for stronger protection from eviction for renters who report bad conditions in their home.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins is currently reviewing whether to change the law to tackle the problem of revenge evictions.

Mr Hopkins said retaliatory evictions were rare but all tenants had a right to expect a decent service for the rents they pay.

He added: "It is clearly unacceptable if anyone should hold back from requesting repairs, out of fear of being evicted.

“That’s why we have given £6.7 million to councils to tackle rogue landlord behaviour, while our new How to Rent Guide gives tenants the need to know rental rights at their fingertips and also turns the up the heat on the small minority of rogue landlords that are not playing by the rules.”

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