9:11 AM, 20th April 2021, About A year ago 48
Shelter is urging the government to bring forward the Renters’ Reform Bill based on two survey samples of only 553 or 551 private renters, both possibly skewed by how the data is collected
Shelter go on to extrapolate in their press release:
New figures by YouGov released today show 39% of private renters, equivalent to 3.2m people, say they have been forced to live in dangerous or unhealthy conditions because they fear complaining to their landlord will trigger a retaliatory eviction.
And almost half (46%) of private renters, equivalent to 3.8m people, whose homes have needed repairs or improvements said they have not tried to resolve these owing to these fears.
Because private landlords can evict tenants by serving a section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notice, where they don’t have to give a reason, losing a private tenancy remains a leading cause of homelessness.
And while the coronavirus pandemic has made our homes more important than ever, 35% of private renters say their housing situation has made lockdowns harder to cope with. A fifth (21%) had suffered with damp, mould, condensation, poor insulation or excess cold in the past month alone.
In light of these worrying findings and ahead of the Queen’s Speech next month, housing charity Shelter is urging Boris Johnson to honour his pledge to deliver a Renters’ Reform Bill that transforms private renting. This should include abolishing section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions which would give renters the security they need to challenge poor conditions. And creating a National Landlord Register, which would force landlords to prove properties meet essential safety standards.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said:“Our broken renting system is overdue serious reform. For years, renters have paid through the nose for neglected properties, left powerless and paralysed by the fear that complaining about basic repairs could see them out on the streets.
“Over the past year, our homes have been our first line of defence against coronavirus. Yet this pandemic has exposed the grim reality that too many of the country’s 11 million renters – including key workers, families and the elderly – wake up every day to mould, pests and dangerous hazards.
“The Renters’ Reform Bill offers us a once-in-a generation opportunity to transform private renting and create a fairer safer system for all renters – we must seize it with both hands.”
Between March 2020 and March 2021, Shelter has seen a 35% increase amongst private renters who are contacting the charity’s helpline and web chat services for advice about poor conditions.
All survey results are based on a survey of 3,588 people in England (553 currently private renting), online, weighted, 18+, 7th-9th April 2021 or on a YouGov survey of 3,603 people in England (551 currently private renting), online, weighted, 18+, 28th Jan – 1st Feb 2021. Numbers of people are estimates calculated by Shelter using the survey results in conjunction with official statistics on population sizes. Shelter estimates there to be 8.2 million adult private renters in England, using analysis of published English Housing Survey (MHCLG) figures for 2019/20 and raw data from the same survey dated 2018/19.
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