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Surge in tenants seeking charity advice - claim

A charity claims it’s seen increasing numbers of private tenants seeking help, just as the bailiff enforced eviction ban has ended in England.

Citizens Advice says its data shows a 17 per cent increase in people with issues about being evicted from their private rented accommodation, comparing January to April 2021 with January to April 2020. 

There has been a 36 per cent increase in the number of people seeking help with all types of problem in the private rented sector (31,700 in January to April 2021, against 23,400 people in January to April 2020.

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Polling conducted by ICM Unlimited for Citizens Advice also shows that, in the UK eight per cent of tenants are behind on their rent.

The average amount of arrears owed has risen by 24 per cent in the last few months from £730 in November 2020 to £907 in April 2021.

The charity is calling on the Westminster government to provide a package of financial support, delivered through grants and government-backed loans, for renters in England facing arrears due to the economic effects of the pandemic. 

Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says: “Ending the eviction ban puts thousands of renters at risk of losing their home. The government should put in place a system of grants and government-backed loans for renters in England who are still financially struggling because of Covid-19.

“The lack of security renters in England will face ... is a symptom of a longer term problem where tenants can be evicted without cause. The government has committed to ending no-fault evictions and it’s vital this is urgently enshrined in law in their forthcoming reforms to the private rented sector. "

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