Campaigning charity Shelter has made a shocking attack on landlords, claiming many of them are acting illegally.
It claims 45 per cent of England’s private tenants have been victims of illegal behaviour from a landlord or letting agent.
A YouGov poll of 3,500 renters revealed the most common illegal act being entering their home without giving notice or a chance to give permission – 25 per cent of respondents claimed to have experienced this.
Some 22 per cent of private renters said essential safety or household appliances like smoke alarms, central heating or water supplies were not working when they moved into a property.
And 18 per cent said their landlord or agent had broken the law by failing to secure their deposit in an approved scheme.
The most startling claim by Shelter is that nine per cent of tenants allege they have been assaulted, threatened or harassed by their landlord or agent.
And in a statement today Shelter tells the government that the upcoming Renters’ Reform Bill must include a National Landlord Register to ensure landlords fulfil their legal obligations and “give renters the power to enforce their rights against law-breaking behaviour.”
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, adds: “Millions of private renters across the country don’t feel safe or secure in their [homes] because of landlords and agents who flout the law. People should not have to put up with broken safety alarms, strangers bursting into their homes unannounced or the threat of harassment and violence.
“Enough is enough. Nobody is above the law and renters are tired of being powerless to enforce their rights. The government has promised voters a fairer private renting system that punishes illegal behaviour by landlords and letting agents. To deliver on this promise, its Renters’ Reform Bill must include a National Landlord Register that makes landlords fully accountable and helps drive up standards across private renting.”
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