Nov 30

One in three rented homes “not fit to live in” and problems rising

More people than ever are battling problems with private landlords in the UK, according to Citizens Advice, as one in three homes do not meet the government’s decent home minimum standard.

The number of people going to Citizens Advice facing eviction – despite being up-to-date with rent – increased by 20% last year.

Between July and September this year, 14% more people reported repairs and maintenance problems to the charity than the same period the year before.

In just one year, Citizens Advice helped people with almost 17,000 of repair-related issues.

Private rents

Image: Citizens Advice

Young people are more likely to have problems with landlords than older people. One in six people in their twenties who get help from Citizens Advice have an issue with a privately rented home.

Renters have very few rights compared to landlords, and do not always speak out for fear of eviction, the charity said.

Gillian Guy, CEO of Citizens Advice, said: “It’s hard to feel at home in the private rented sector. People can struggle to lead a normal life when their home is in a state of disrepair and they could be told to leave at any time. But many feel powerless to speak out.

“People face a huge number of different housing problems. But despite one in five now renting privately, the sector is subject to comparatively little regulation. Rogue landlords and letting agents are free to mistreat tenants and charge ever increasing rents. In other markets consumers have far more protection, such as the right to refunds or repairs, if the product or service the pay for is not up to scratch.”

A fifth of people in the UK rent privately, a proportion that is steadily increasing.