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“Uphill struggle to get landlords to fix anything” says activist chief

One of the leaders of the Generation Rent group claims it can be “an uphill struggle for private renters to get landlords to fix anything.”

Dan Wilson Craw, deputy director of the group, says: “None of us should have to live in a home that could make us ill, but it can be an uphill struggle for private renters to get landlords to fix anything. 

“It’s possible to take a landlord to court, or raise a complaint with your letting agent’s redress scheme, but the fact that a landlord can evict you without needing a reason puts many tenants off complaining in the first place. As he designs a new tenancy system, [Housing Secretary] Michael Gove must make sure landlords cannot use threats to avoid their responsibilities.”

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Wilson Craw was speaking following the publication this week of a report by the all-party Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons which claims some 13 per cent of the private rented sector stock poses “a serious threat to the health and safety of renters” which is costing the NHS an estimated £340m each year.

At the same time the PAC claims enforcement of the sector “is a postcode lottery …with 21 per cent of all privately rented homes in one region estimated to be severely unsafe”. 

The MPs say tenants face increasing rents, a rising number of low-earners and families renting long-term, and the prevalence of Section 21 evictions leaving households at risk of homelessness; and when trying to enforce their right to a safe and secure home private “renters face an inaccessible, arduous and resource-intensive court process and the risk of retaliatory eviction.” 

The committee goes on to claim that there is also evidence of unlawful discrimination in the sector, with 25 per cent of landlords unwilling to let to non-British passport holders and 52 per cent unwilling to let to tenants who receive Housing Benefit.

 

Wilson Craw says in response: “As well as more secure tenancies, tenants need better support from councils in dealing with negligent landlords, and a national landlord register is an essential part of this. 

“Requiring landlords to register their properties would help to raise awareness of renters’ rights, give councils the intelligence they need to enforce the law effectively, and help the government understand what further changes are needed.”

You can see our extensive story on the PAC report and its recommendations here.

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    And for some LLs it is an uphill struggle to get tenants to pay their rent - but that goes unreported!

  • girish mehta

    Where is the facts and data to prove that landlords are not carrying out repairs. Councils have enough powers to make landlords carry unsafe works. Just because tenants extra luxuries does not mean property is unsafe. Condition of property is reflected in asking rent. If Tenent’s don’t like then they are free to move and find elsewhere to meet their needs.this is a media hype generated by any one who thinks they have power to influence the law so they can seen you have a easy solution. And I’ll informed politicians just dance to their tune with out having understanding the issues. Landlords are in the market to refurbish rundown property and provide rental properties . It is a business and has considerable expenses and ever increasing tax and regulation. Yet to see any improvement from councils and government to support landlords to manage their assets. Inspite government giving more money and increased power against landlords. All these millions being wasted by clueless councils and chasing media attention for hand ful cases. Landlords are providing a business and service. Tangents should pay the going rate like any other commodities .landlords always try to help tenants . There are minority of landlords who break the law they should be supported and guilty ones should be punished.just there is a minority does not mean all landlords are crooks and all Tenent’s are good. Government need to take responsibility for failed housing policies over few decades

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    It's also an uphill struggle for landlords to find reliable contractors to do any work these days. I don't know whether it's brexit, covid or something else but certainly in the south west there is a shortage of tradesmen. If a tenant reports a problem I immediately try to get someone to fix it, but even for urgent problems there can be a long wait until someone can fit it in. And as for non-urgent problems, I had part of a fence blown down in the gales, my fence man was busy with fallen trees for weeks, tenants moaning even though it's not causing them any problems. Tenants get the same service as I do for problems with my own house, but they seem to think everything should be fixed next day.

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    What planet are these activists on?
    If tenants report something we can fix ourselves we're usually there to fix it within 2 hours. If it's a plumbing or drainage issue British Gas send someone usually within 24 hours, if it's something else covered by the household emergency policy it is usually within 24 hours, if it's covered under the boiler warranty within 3 days or so is normal. If it's something we need to contract a tradesperson for it's as soon as one is available and materials can be obtained. What more do they think we can do?

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    Totally clueless from the jobs for the boys and girls quango brigade

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    Heavens,landlords being choosy about who they let to,whatever next?

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    That's unfair, when informed of a problem I am generally out the same day to fix, if not I'm round the next day, and where ever possible I fix it myself, my tools are in the car and there's a ladder on the roof 24 / 7

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    Where oh where do they source their rubbish info from? We all Know it is not only in the interest of the tenant, but, also ourselves to carry out any remedial work posthaste!
    No matter how hard we work to supply and maintain safe, secure, comfortable homes for our tenants, we continue to be demonised.
    Number 2 house in the process of being sold.

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    Same here Frances... No2 just sold and no 3 will be getting notice to leave soon.. I've had enough. 👍

     
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    1 sold so far. I'm awaiting the White paper before making any further decisions.

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    The Tenants are getting a fantastic unrivalled service, washing machine, fridge or freezer breaks down replace same day or next day, no use waiting for insurance schemes or guarantees to fix with their all day call then can’t fix.
    Recent Eunice Storm 8 holes in roof where tiles got blown off plus 9 hip ridges gone + flat bay roof felt ribbed off. All fixed next day despite Storm Francis hot on the heels Eunice. Where can anyone get better Service than that, they are talking through their hat.

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    Don't know about talking through their hats, but we all know which hole they are talking through

     
  • George Dawes

    I'm starting to think this whole site is one long drawn out parody

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    We have been had, it seems everyone supposed to be there to help us are not helping but damaging us and carving a soft lucrative business for themselves for sure Its plain to see. don’t need to spell it out.

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    Michael, the only people out there for us are ourselves, forget landlord associations they are only there for themselves, I've been a member of Eastern Landlords Assoc for 30 yrs, not any more the DDR has been canceled.

     
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    Andrew, not that simple to walk away when they are the brokers to Insurance underwriters for huge numbers of so called LL specialist insurance that we are now required to have. Also insurer’s of the Deposits Schemes, they have taken our real Deposits away from Landlords.
    Now at it again encouraging Government to include Landlord Redress Scheme in white paper and already set up offering free initial LL registration to get roller coasters started, how much more red tape, costs and time wasting are we supposed to endure for them to create new industries for themselves to live off our backs. I understand they run a Accreditation Scheme to teach us how to suck eggs their way our 40+ years of experience counts for nothing it really takes a long time to become non-compliant and branded Rogue’s. I think they now have incorporated the Landlord eviction Service so that won’t be Independent anymore ?, so Andrew not that easy to walk away and they are working for us hmm !.

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    AS an ex contractor for rental properties I have found if the LL is using an agent the delay is through the agent and not the contractor or LL.Always found direct with LL to be the best outcome with regard to speed of repair

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