A charity claims it’s helping one person every minute with problems relating to renting from a private landlord.
In the first two months of this year, Citizens Advice says it saw a 40 per cent increase in people seeking one-to-one advice on issues relating to the private rented sector compared to the same period in 2020.
Polling by Citizens Advice, through its national Tenants’ Voice panel, shows private renters are still concerned by the threat of eviction despite the current ban. A third said they had been worried about the issue in the last three months.
Figures from the charity's website show In the first two months of the year 69,000 people viewed its advice pages dealing with problems related to private tenancies.
Citizens Advice claims also to have helped 16,530 people with one-to-one advice on these issues in the same two-month period. “That’s one every minute during office hours” it says.
This includes 29 per cent who had problems with repairs or maintenance; nine per cent worried about possession action not related to rent arrears; five per cent who reported harassment by their landlord; and four per cent who wanted help with a possible illegal eviction.
The Tenants’ Voice panel also found two thirds of those surveyed had experienced problems with maintenance or disrepair in the last three months.
The charity cites a case study called Sophia, a teaching assistant, is the single parent of a toddler and who also cares for her disabled father who lives with her and her daughter.
“She came to Citizens Advice for help when she was issued with a Section 21 eviction notice by her landlord after complaining about maintenance problems, including extended periods without heating or hot water. She has paid hundreds of pounds out of her own money for repairs. This has left her struggling to afford the rent and her landlord has said he’s charging her 8.1 per cent interest a day for late rent.”
Sophia says she cannot sleep properly for worry.