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Anti-eviction activists tell renters to check landlord paperwork

Activist group Generation Rent are telling tenants to use the slightest documentation error by landlords to avoid eviction.

It claims as many as three quarters of tenants were not given a government guide to renting at the start of their tenancy - a figure the group states is based on renters’ recollections expressed in a survey.

According to the poll just 23 per cent remember receiving a government How to Rent guide at the start of their tenancy. 

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The group states that “many landlords are failing to comply” on other documentation, specifically:

- 36 per cent of renters remember receiving an Energy Performance Certificate;

- 44 per cent remember receiving a gas safety certificate; 

- 47 per cent remember receiving information about where their deposit is protected.

Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, says: “Renting is so complicated, it’s easy for tenants to get mistreated by landlords and letting agents who may have no interest in having well-informed customers. 

“Tenancy deposits alone can involve a range of problems and it is not obvious when you should go to court, a protection scheme, a tribunal or the council to get yours resolved. 

“Although the system needs reform, renters have more protections than it appears, particularly if your landlord has failed in their responsibilities. This can be valuable knowledge now that eviction notice periods have been reduced and landlords throughout England are taking advantage.”

Failure to provide all of these documents makes a Section 21 eviction notice invalid. In addition, if a deposit is not protected in an approved scheme, tenants can apply to the county court for compensation worth up to three times the deposit's value. 

The ban on most evictions was lifted on 1 June and the notice period on Section 21 evictions has been reduced from six months to four months. 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    And all they have to do is wreck
    The place damage break and destroy carpets and furniture, not pay any rent and think because they were not told how to fiddle the landlord they can get away with it. Country is sick to its teeth.

  • James B

    Generation rents surveys have no credibility
    They were pulled recently by government for polling a dozen people and claiming it was a national average !. They must wander round the corner from there offices and knock on a few doors and claim that’s what’s going on in the country

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    "Renting is so complicated" she says and then encourages tenants to use any possible error on the LLs behalf to their advantage! Not really sure 'doesn't remember receiving' is an accurate picture of events either!

    The PRS works best when LLs & tenants work together - this constant adversarial approach does tenants no good and is pushing good LLs out the door.

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    Baroness Alicia Kennedy director of Generation Rent! Someone with a title and money sticking their nose in and causing trouble when it is not needed. She was clearly short of a hobby.

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    As far as I am concerned they always gets the ridiculously huge amount of documents, they are stapled on to the Agreement. They call ‘How to Rent’ Government guide lines which was brought in by Shelter a non-elected body that don’t supply housing and have Charity Status, therefore should not be making Government Policy or invited to the Parliamentary Select Committee having input on decision making otherwise we might as well scrap elections.
    I wouldn’t be too worried about encouraging Tenants to go knit picking over any minor errors in the paperwork, as if they are all Snow White themselves and might not want anyone taking taking a closer look either, activist are scraping the barrel now with spurious allegations.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    ' Can't remember ' - because they've got no interest in the terms of the contract, - just want the keys. !

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    Its a pity this hostility is being encouraged. I have a great relationship with my tenants and I don't think any of them would try to stitch me up. But just the thought of it is enough to put me off and may ultimately lead to me and others like me withdrawing from the rental sector, which means fewer homes for those who wish to rent.

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    Who cares if they can’t remember the documents being issued,?all my tenants sign to acknowledge they have received the latest upto date versions

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    Tenants always forget what they have received. That is why we get them to sign to say they have received the documents. Having said that I am not sure how not receiving the 'How to rent' guide can be construed as mistreatment.

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    We just use a check list with all the documents the tenant is given on it and ask them to sign it when they sign up.

    That way there can be no confusion as to what they were given as they signed confirming receipt.

    We recommend all landlords/agents do the same

    Simple

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    From memory How to Rent has only been around half a dozen years and changed a dozen times since introduced obviously not a fit document and should be scrapped, they are making it up as they go along. Do they think young people don’t know How to Rent and now the most educated generation ever plus computers, iPhones, laptops, Mrs Google, a wealth of information everywhere, give me a break we have been Renting for decades and now all those lame ducks are wondering how to tell how to do this rocket science.

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    Now that the eviction ban is over, these pointless charities and their appointed managers have to justify their purpose.

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    And justify their excessive wages

     
  • Matthew Payne

    If you are an agent or use an agent, docusign solves all this. Everything set up to go to the tenant automatically and they cant deny ever having received it. Full PI pack goes out with TA to sign and gets recirculated as one pdf once the last person has signed/witnessed. Bulletproof.

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    Yes all new Digital Academics hands off real work LL inventing digital documents everything for computerisation all preset programmes so they have nothing to do just like Regulators and rule makers if press a bottom don’t suffice forget about it.
    It’s to drive out Traditional real LL who have always done everything the idea now is take it away from him so he can’t operate. Those guys out of Uni’ educated on our taxes now know everything but can do nothing hence they can do this rubbish from home or home working that will be admin only.

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    Educated idiots, hopeless, we can thank Mr Blair for all these hopeless idiots coming out of tin pot universities with chips on their shoulders the size of house bricks

     
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