Research conducted by activist group Generation Rent is claiming “shocking discrimination towards minority ethnic communities while navigating the private rental market.”
The initial research is based on an extremely small number of private renters - just 105 - but Generation Rent claims the results nonetheless highlight “the many inequalities, both individual and structural, which affect people who identify as minority ethnic.”
The group says 38 per cent of minority ethnic respondents had been threatened with an eviction compared to 28 per cent of white British or Irish respondents. In addition, 19 per cent of minority ethnic respondents had been threatened with court action by their landlord or letting agent compared to eight per cent of white British or Irish respondents.
While 100 per cent of white British or Irish respondents had received a written tenancy agreement at the start of their last tenancy, only 94 per cent of minority ethnic respondents had. This dropped even further to 84 per cent amongst black respondents.
Generation Rent also claims that minority ethnic respondents were more than twice as likely to have experienced faulty electrics than white British or Irish respondents, and that of those who had reported their most recent repair issue to their landlord, minority ethnic respondents were 17 per cent more likely than white British or Irish respondents to report that their landlord had not rectified the issue.
The activists say, in a statement: “The experiences of minority ethnic private renters reveal a deeply polarised market. Some can access a professional and qualified part of the sector, with decent homes and qualified landlords and letting agents. However, overall, minority ethnic groups are disproportionately subjected to sub-standard homes, rented out by amateurish or even criminal individuals, unaware of or apathetic to their responsibilities.”
In a lengthy and detailed report, Generation Rent describes what it calls “exploitative and illegal treatment from landlords and letting agents.”
The report continues: ”Minority ethnic respondents were significantly more likely to have been threatened with several legal and illegal actions by landlords or letting agents, as were lower-income respondents. 38 per cent of minority ethnic respondents had been threatened with an eviction compared to 28 per cent of white British and Irish respondents.
“This rose even higher amongst certain groups, 41 per cent of Asian respondents and 48 per cent of black respondents reported that they had been threatened with an eviction. 22 per cent of minority ethnic respondents had been threatened with an unaffordable rent increase, compared to 16 per cent of white British or Irish respondents.
“19 per cent of minority ethnic respondents had been threatened with court action by their landlord or letting agent compared to eight per cent of white British or Irish respondents.
“Many of the minority ethnic respondents pointed to a culture of landlords and letting agents avoiding or evading their responsibilities by threatening their tenants, especially with evictions and rent increases.”
Generation Rent is demanding that, in response to the finding, the government must introduce the Renters’ Reform Bill “to effectively protect marginalised private renters” and it wants greater support for marginalised renters by raising Local Housing Allowance, scrapping the benefits cap, and increasing Discretionary Housing Payments funding to local authorities.
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