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‘Private renting broken’ says Shelter in push for legislation

Admitting to the rental property shortage but returning to its landlord-bashing ways, the homeless charity Shelter has claimed private renters in England are being forced to accept sub-standard accommodation.

With the Government’s legislative programme, the charity has called for rental market reform including a strengthening of tenant rights.

A ‘shocking’ YouGov poll has revealed that private renting is in a ‘sorry state’ with millions of private renters having endured dangerous living conditions, it claimed.

According to Shelter, 42 per cent of renters reported that within the last year they had experienced mould in their homes, 31 per cent broken boilers, 14 per cent pests and 11 per cent electrical hazards.

‘Even worse, when private renters raised a maintenance issue that needed fixing, 17 per cent – equivalent to 1.9 million people – had to wait over a month for their landlord or letting agent to start dealing with the request’.

To emphasise its claims, the charity has produced a video featuring a fake letting agent played by comedian Rory Marshall.

‘Landlords and letting agents have got away with cutting corners for far too long because renters are powerless to challenge them’, claimed Shelter chief executive Polly Neate.

‘Tenants are sick of paying through the nose for terrible rentals because they have no other choice.

‘Every day our frontline services hear from renters stuck living in nightmare situations, too scared to complain for fear they’ll be kicked out. No-one should be stuck living in mouldy homes that make them ill or have to put up with landlords who turn up unannounced.

‘Private renting is broken – and the only way to fix it is by strengthening tenants’ rights so they can stand up to bad landlords and challenge poor conditions. The government must keep its promise by introducing a Renters’ Reform Bill this year that will scrap ‘no fault’ evictions and bring in a national landlord register. It’s the only way to transform private renting for good’.

  • Last month the National Residential Landlords Association criticised Shelter for an alarmist campaign landlords use of repossession laws based on erroneous results’.

    ‘Shelter needs to stop its campaign of scaremongering. The vast majority of landlords do not spend their time plotting ways to get rid of their tenants for no reason. Official data shows that fewer than 10 per cent of tenants who move do so because they are asked to by their landlord or letting agent’.