Citizens Advice backs MPs’ call for greater protection for tenants against revenge eviction
Citizens Advice is backing a call by MPs on the housing committee to give greater protection to vulnerable tenants who fear revenge eviction.
In its report into the private rented sector, the committee said there was a clear power imbalance between landlords and tenants that left renters unwilling to complain about issues such as cold, mould or faulty wiring.
On Monday this week, Citizens Advice revealed in a report that a quarter of a million households in England put up with shoddy or unsafe homes out of fear of eviction.
Based on their experiences advising private renters, more than 2 in 5 Citizens Advice staff (43%) said people “worrying about the consequences of complaining” was the biggest issue for tenants seeking redress for their problem.
The national charity’s report calls on the Government to protect tenants from revenge evictions through the introduction of an effective ombudsman.
Repairs and maintenance is the most common issue that private tenants needed help for from Citizens Advice.
More than 13,000 issues about problems such as mould, electrical faults and pest infestation were dealt with by advisers in person, over the phone, by email and via webchat last year.
Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice Chief Executive, said:
“Private tenants are too often left at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords.
“No one should have to live in a run down or unsafe home because they are afraid of revenge eviction or a rent rise, but our research shows hundreds of thousands of renters are in this position.
“Current laws to protect tenants from revenge eviction aren’t strong enough. The Government needs to overhaul the system so renters are protected in practice, not just on paper.
“The MPs’ call for robust protection of tenants - along with more power and money for councils to enforce rules - is a step in the right direction and will help level the playing field to produce a fairer market for renters.”
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
- Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.