16:04 PM, 13th September 2011, About 10 years ago 2
The figure was pinpointed from asking councils across England and Wales about private housing complaints.
The response was councils have received 86,628 complaints from tenants in the past year.
The calls for help highlighted potentially life-threatening dangers like hazardous gas and electricity supplies.
Councils allege the number of complaints have climbed by 25 per cent in the past two years.
Shelter has also started a ‘landlord watch’ web site that reports successful prosecutions in the courts against landlords. The charity says councils proceeded with just 270 successful prosecutions.
The charity claims the private rental sector is blighted by amateur landlords failing to offer high standards to tenants and that a small number of landlords prey on the vulnerable.
England and Wales has a private rental sector of 3.4 million homes – the number of complaints represents just two per cent of the number of homes.
The Shelter report does not include comparison figures for complaints about social housing.
Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “The reality is that rogue landlords are out there and they’re getting away with it.
“Every day at Shelter we see the devastating impact rogue landlords have on peoples’ lives as they remain trapped in homes that cause misery and, in some cases, put lives at risk.
“What’s more, we believe there could be thousands more tenants who are suffering in silence, holding back from complaining out of fear of the consequences or because they don’t feel their voices will be heard.”
Robb also criticises councils for not protecting tenants from profiteering landlords.
“Local authorities have the powers to tackle rogue landlords but too many aren’t making the most of their armoury. They must follow the lead of those councils taking a zero tolerance approach to rogue landlords, and support tenants who are suffering by cracking down on the worst offenders in their area.”
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