Half of tenants are ‘one pay cheque away’ from homelessness – Shelter claims

Half of tenants are ‘one pay cheque away’ from homelessness – Shelter claims

9:26 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago 67

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A survey of private renters has found that 51% of them are just one missed ‘pay cheque’ away from being made homeless.

The findings from Shelter also found that more than a third said they did not have enough savings to cover their rent if they were to face unemployment.

The charity’s study also reveals that 55% of renters have seen a rent increase in the past year with demand from tenants outstripping landlord supply.

Shelter says its recent findings show a deterioration in the private rented sector since a 2021 survey revealed that 39% of tenants did not have enough in savings to pay rent.

‘Forced to compete for grossly expensive private rentals’

Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate, said: “The severe lack of social homes means swathes of people are barely scraping by as they’re forced to compete for grossly expensive private rentals, because there is nothing else.

“With food and household bills continuing to surge, the situation is precarious for thousands of renters who are one pay cheque away from losing their home, and the spectre of homelessness.”

She added: “The time for piecemeal policies is over. To jam the brakes on the housing emergency, we need a genuinely affordable alternative to private renting.

“We know social housing works for most people because it’s secure and the rents are tied to local incomes.

“Instead of empty words, the government and every political party must sign up to building thousands more social homes.”

‘Delivering affordable homes to rent and buy’

A government spokesperson said: “We have a strong track record of delivering affordable homes to rent and buy across the country.

“Since 2010, we have delivered over 659,500 new affordable homes through our £11.5bn affordable homes programme, including 166,300 homes for social rent.

“Our landmark Renters (Reform) Bill will also deliver a better deal for renters, giving tenants greater security in their homes and preventing large rent increases being used as a backdoor method of eviction.”

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10:31 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

Yet again, dog-whistle politics from Polly Neate. Nobody is one pay cheque away from homelessness. Unless, of course, they are one pay cheque away from their date of eviction, following 12 months of costly legal process, and probably zero rent payment.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

10:34 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

Housing crisis made by Shelter, Generation Rent and government's actions.
The war on landlords starts brining the very outcome these institutions were warned about.
Only in the UK...

The Forever Tenant

11:03 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

reading the report, it seems to be a case of if they did not receive a pay cheque, they could not afford to pay rent using any saving they have. This puts someone at risk of being evicted. We all know that can take months, but they are right in saying that one missing pay cheque can result in a situation where they are facing eviction.

As for the governments actions. I'm not so sure it is the actions against landlords directly. There are a couple of examples where they have affected landlords but mostly they have not been too egregious. Though I still blame the Government.

I would say it is more the governments policy of making sure that house prices continually increased as much as possible. House prices are an intrinsic part of the UK economy and a great vote winner. They would never allow house prices to drop. I would say it is this pushing of house prices out of the range of the regular person that has contributed the most to this situation.

Mick Roberts

11:05 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

'grossly expensive private rentals’
Suppose this will be the Landlords fault then. Tell u what Polly & Shelter, why not give the Landlords more regulation & charges-That should work shouldn't it? That surely will entice more Landlords in to get competition up & rents reducing.

Churchills Tax Advisers

11:07 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

Equally, many landlords are one rent payment away from being unable to pay their mortgages.

Yet the tenants get to stay in the landlord's property without paying rent for many, many months, and the landlord has to be able to afford to cover these losses and the costs of getting them out. A point Shelter fails to make.


11:09 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 22/08/2023 - 10:34
That's absolutely correct. The UK governments (conservative, labour and SNP) all spent billions on paying people not to work and shutting down businesses during Covid to try and prevent the spread of a virus whose spread could not be stopped. And we knew that at the outset because we understood the nature of RNA viruses long before the outbreak....we already knew that they mutate and we've known it for decades.

The end result of that is that the various UK government's do not have the capital to solve the housing crisis. It can only be solved with private capital as well as public capital. Just saying "build more houses" isn't an adequate response: Around where I live building sites are being shut down and mothballed because the developers know that they will not be able to sell the completed properties they are building except at a loss because people cannot afford them due to rising interest rates. The cry "Build more social housing" isn't an adequate response either because the UK governments are massively in debt because of their response to Covid. They can't afford it.

The consequence of driving up "standards" beyond the essential ones like a gas-safety certificate is that rents have to rise, and the consequence of driving landlords out of the PRS is that tenants have less choice of housing which means that rents escalate exponentially. Rent controls like those introduced by the SNP make the situation even worse.

The only way that the crisis can be solved is by letting people invest their pensions in residential property that is energy efficient and not heavily dependent upon non-renewables. But radical left-wing elements of governments and the left-wing organisations that collaborate with them are unlikely to ask for that because they depend upon crises to persuade enough of any electorate to vote to give up their personal freedoms and give them the kind of control that the likes of China and Russia have. Although totalitarian rules isn't presently working out for either Russia or China...China has a property crisis at the moment and Russia's economy is also in deep trouble.

Organisations like Shelter depend upon crises; they don't solve them.

Tim Rogers

11:29 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

I can't help but wonder, maybe a more legal brain can advise, as Shelter continues to exaggerate and twist reality to suit their own purposes, would it be possible to sue them for deliberate misrepresentation of the facts?

I suspect that most landlords would support crowd funding such a case, particularly if it would start the process of limiting Shelter to only stating the truth.

I know, I know, but I can dream.....

The Forever Tenant

11:38 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tim Rogers at 22/08/2023 - 11:29
If that were the case, every company everywhere would be able to be sued constantly.

Misrepresentation or bias cherrypicking of statistics has been around for as long as this country existed. It's never going to stop.

Paul Power

11:46 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Churchills Tax Advisers at 22/08/2023 - 11:07
I have little sympathy for anyone who financially plans to be held hostage by tenancy or lease. I have a colleague who has leveraged a multitude of properties by getting one to pay for the other therefore if one link in the chain goes......
It's also a reason why property prices are at the level they are.
As for tenants being a paycheck away from eviction, maybe arrears but as a tenant the rental was a priority for myself then you deal with the rest of your finances. Yes it was tight at times but ultimately it was my responsibility and that's what I had signed up for.

Old Mrs Landlord

11:56 AM, 22nd August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 22/08/2023 - 10:31To be fair to the deservedly-vilified Polly Neate, she did not actually say more than half of tenants were one pay cheque away from homelessness, but "from the spectre of homelessness". She is a master of the use of language to convey a message which she knows will be widely taken as meaning more than her actual words state and carrying a latent message of poor tenant victims of uncaring private landlords charging "grossly expensive rents". (What isn't grossly expensive these days?) Thus she stokes the widespread public pro-tenant/anti-landlord spirit of the times, influences public policy and rakes in more donations to her 'charity'. She could be said to be good at her job. It's just sad that the more she influences public policy, the worse things become for tenants.

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