Tenants reluctant to access new Renters’ Reform Bill rights

Tenants reluctant to access new Renters’ Reform Bill rights

0:07 AM, 26th May 2023, About A year ago 11

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The tightening supply of homes to rent and affordability issues mean many renters will be reluctant to access their new rights under the Renters’ Reform Bill, research suggests.

The findings from TDS Charitable Foundation highlight that nearly a third of tenants are finding it difficult to meet their rent payments – and more than half have cut back on essential spending.

TDS also warns that the affordability of rental accommodation is largely missing from the government’s plans for reforming the sector.

And without ‘proper consideration’ being given to affordability concerns and supply pressures, it says there is a ‘significant risk’ that tenants will be unable and unwilling to assert their new rights.

Affordability pressures are on the rise

TDS questioned more than 2,000 renters and found that affordability pressures are on the rise with nearly half of those who had moved into a rented home in the past six months struggling to afford their rent.

The survey also highlights the mismatch between supply and demand which is making it increasingly difficult for renters to find a place to call home – 68% of tenants said this was a challenge.

Steve Harriott, the chief executive of TDS Charitable Foundation, said: “TDS has welcomed the introduction of the Bill as a way of raising standards in the housing sector.

“The research suggests that the removal of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions may not in itself be enough to give tenants greater confidence to complain about poor conditions to their landlord or the new Ombudsman.

“Over the coming months, we will want to explore these issues in more detail so that we can help government come up with ways of increasing the confidence of tenants to approach landlords and others about issues affecting their tenancy.”

New legal rights for tenants

The recently unveiled Renters Reform Bill includes several new legal rights for tenants, such as the right to request permission to keep a pet and raise complaints with a new private rented sector Ombudsman.

Tenants can also access information about rental properties on a new property portal.

However, the TDS study found that supply shortages and affordability pressures may prevent many tenants from using these new rights.

The survey found that 87% of tenants had initially reported issues with their tenancy to their landlord or letting agent, but very few escalated their complaints to the local authority or other legal body for fear of being asked to leave.

The tenants were also worried they would struggle to find another suitable property or were wanting to be seen as a good tenant.

Renters are hesitant to ask for energy efficiency upgrades

It’s not just complaints that tenants are reluctant to make either since the survey revealed that many renters are hesitant to ask for energy efficiency upgrades.

TDS says that 44% of renters struggled to pay their utility bills in early 2023, and almost half believed that the energy efficiency of their property could be improved.

But the majority did not request improvements for fear of jeopardising their tenancy.


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Comments

Reluctant Landlord

11:10 AM, 30th May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 26/05/2023 - 07:10
another company to boycott then!

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