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Shelter claims evictions cost tenants £669 on average

Renters allegedly pay £669 in un-recoverable costs for each ‘unwanted’ move as a result of eviction, claims campaigning charity Shelter.

It says in total these ‘unwanted’ private rental moves in England cost £550m per year: this is based on a survey of 2,002 people last month.

Shelter extrapolates that sample to claim that there were an estimated 830,000 unwanted moves in the last 12 months with 40% of renters alleging that their last home move was forced and not made through choice.   


The charity goes on to say that 245,000 renters had to move in the past year because their fixed term tenancy came to an end and a further 61,000 were priced out by a rent increase. Nearly 190,000 were served with a legal eviction notice, while 135,000 were informally asked to leave by their landlord. 

In parallel the charity is complaining about apparent lack of Parliamentary progress on the Renters Reform Bill, which awaits its Third Reading in the House of Commons. The charity claims it’s on the verge of being “watered down into insignificance.”

The charity says renters will continue to pay a heavy price while the insecurity hardwired into the renting system goes unchallenged. Although its research shows that the average un-recoverable cost of such a move is £669, it also claims that many other costs take the sum higher.

These include:

- Paying rent on two properties at once (Shelter claims this costs £800); 

- Paying bills at two properties (on average £245);

- Loss of earnings to view properties (£200);

- Loss of earnings while moving house (£200);  

- Removal van hire (on average £200); 

- Cleaning costs (on average £100); 

- Replacing furniture (on average £400);

- One-off fees including Wi-Fi installation (on average £50). 

When these are factored in, the average upfront cost of each unwanted move was calculated to soar to - £1,245 – or more than £1 billion in total. 

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate says: “Tenants are coughing up millions in unwanted and unwarranted moves, while the government runs scared of a minority of its own MPs. Instead of striking dodgy deals with backbenchers to strangle the Renters Reform Bill, Ministers should defend renters’ best hope of a stable home.  

“With protections from eviction so weak and rents so high, we constantly hear from people forced out of their homes and communities at huge personal cost. It’s impossible for renters to put down roots knowing a no-fault eviction could plunge them back into chaos at any moment. 

“With the Bill’s third reading imminent, it’s now or never for the government to make good on its promise to deliver a watertight Bill. It must resist spurious attempts to sneak fixed-term tenancies back in, and to indefinitely delay the ban on no-fault evictions. England’s 11 million tenants will remember all too well who fought for them when they finally head to the ballot box.”  

The research does not include any reference to landlord costs.

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  • George Dawes

    Poor dears

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    There are lies, damned lies and Shelter’s statistics.

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    My eviction cost me thousands in legal fees, lost rent, damage etc. Do they want to talk about that? No.


    And if Polly Bleat had her way tenant's would be allowed to bail after 2 months. That would be about a month in relating fees (if you use an agent) + inventory, check-in/out, making the property good for re-let etc, plus any void. On £1200 PCM property you could be looking at £1,500 to £2k out of pocket. It's a one sided conversation with this mob, and the rest of their ilk.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Having mentioned many times on here the only two properties I had issues with and not on guaranteed rent turned rogue on me.

    Overall costs after getting them out and refurbishment stand me at 35k ....!

    One of them had the cheek to message me this week to ask if she call round to collect her speakers as she had left them?!?!?


    Me too.
    I lost in the region of £10,000.
    £669, they are having a laugh!!!

  • Karen  Flynn

    Hold my beer- cost me thousands , stress and chasing tenants till EA made them pay and exposed them in their workplace.

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    Shelter is such a brainless militant organisation.
    What do they want:
    - Only peppercorn rents.. £100 a month.. Will this be too much??
    - No right for landlords to ever increase the rents
    - No right to evict with the exception of serious antisocial behaviour like killing neighbours.
    - it's the duty of landlords to continue providing free accommodation if the honest tenants declare they can no longer afford the rents.

    Landlords, please sign below to this wonderful business opportunity.
    Strictly first come first serve!

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    I used to support Shelter but cancelled my dd when they started this vendetta against landlords. No mention of tenants who deliberately stop paying rent, trash properties, upset neighbours and leave a trail of destruction behind them. Not all landlords are bad and not all tenants are bad but Shelter is biased completely.


    Why did you support them when they house nobody? All their advice can be found elsewhere. They have no USP.


    I'm going to set up a direct debit right now, as a direct result of your comment 👍🏻


    JT, Can you afford it on your benefits?😂

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    Shelter do not describe a world I recognise. I and every landlord I come across wants to keep tenants as the cost of changing tenants is so high. The only reason I ask tenants to leave or evict them is because they do not pay the rent or are antisocial. I estimate there are 2000 bad tenants for every bad landlord. The extent of rent dodging in the UK is kept hidden but must be enormous. Why are not landlord groups not countering Shelter and exposing the reality of the market?
    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO daddy


    Because the NRLA is not representing Landlords, on the contrary they are actively damaging the PRS.
    Gov appeasement and building their business model around the burgeoning regulation of the PRS is their primary interest.
    The more regs and interference the Gov produces the greater their capacity to invent Deposit Schemes, compliance software, training courses etc and push up profits.
    Landlord representation, forget it, that’s not what they are really about. Time they were called out.

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    Any tenant who pays all that deserves to be poor!

    £800 on double rent - only in London!
    £245 on bills at 2 properties - seems high
    £200 - loss of earnings to view - manage your time better
    £200 loss of earnings to move - do it at a w/e
    Removal van hire - yes probably
    Cleaning costs £100 - do it yourself, properly for about £20
    Replace furniture £400 - really? why?
    One-off fees £50 - maybe

    No mention of the costs to LLs of rent arrears, damage, cleaning etc which they can't claim for if they do it themselves! Usual Shelter rubbish! If Shelter et al stopped forcing LLs out there would be less S21s issued - at least the ones for selling up!

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    ‘Shelter claims evictions cost tenants £669 on average’

    That headline needs editing to Shelter’s claims cost tenant evictions of £669 on average.

    They have caused untold misery to all parties and the tenants are beginning to realise the disgusting sham that is Shelter

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    That’s ok. They can use the months of rent the vast majority owe towards it. You could argue the vast rent arrears they leave is a profit they have made. Should read evicted tenants make £6000 profit on average. Another headline of drivel from Shelter the charity (corporate business) that houses no one.

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    So of the 830’000 they Claim was unwarranted moves, 500’000 of those were not forced to leave that leaves a very small percentage out of 11’000’000.
    What’s missing here is the figures for the hundreds of thousands that moved themselves because they wanted to ?.
    They must think landlords have no costs between Tenancies with vacant periods, loans still have to be paid, bills still keep rolling-in incl’ c/tax often Service Charges, the cost of Replacing Tenants and Compliance Requirements.
    Shelter where are those figures and costs, it’s just as well you have Charity Status and don’t supply any Housing you wouldn’t last s a week putting roofs over heads off your own backs so but out.

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    shelter continue their one sided approach to the issue, never any mention of the costs to LL's which include,

    Eviction costs.
    Costs to Repair damage to the property.
    Loss of rent during any void period.
    Agency fee's to find a new tenant.
    Council tax during void periods.

    LL's do not evict tenants without reason, they need to stop calling it a "no fault eviction" it should be call "no reason given eviction, avoiding going through a long and costly court process that is one sided in favour on the tenants which will only cost the LL more money".

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    Shelter are using some interesting and misleading language. When they say "‘unwanted’ private rental moves" do they really mean the tenants didn't adhere to the tenancy agreement and because of that the landlord wouldn't renew it? No landlord wants to lose good tenants. Voids between tenancies are expensive. Fees for getting a letting agent to find a tenant are expensive. Taking time off work to conduct viewings ourselves is expensive. We would far rather renew tenancies for good tenants.

    They then say "135,000 were informally asked to leave by their landlord". What does that even mean? Nothing to do with Section 21. Not even the initial Section 21 notice presumably?

    In reality there seems to be a whole lot of confusion surrounding eviction largely caused by Shelter, Generation Rent, etc. There seems to be a general lack of communication between landlords and tenants. A number of tenants don't seem to realise they can renew a fixed term tenancy. They just think they have to leave. Every year I make a big thing of asking my students if they want another year in the house and every year at least one of them will say they hadn't realised that was even possible. A great many tenants don't ask for advice and just behave irrationally..
    I've recently had 2 friends decide they were going to be evicted and moved house without even asking their landlords what their plans were. The sold board on one of the houses may have been a bit of a clue but as no eviction notice had been served the landlord clearly hadn't thought through the logistics or legalities of gaining vacant possession. The other one made her decision on the strength of a throw away comment made by the letting agent that the landlords mortgage was going up. She interpreted that as the landlord would have to sell. I interpreted it as the letting agent was preparing her for a rent increase. Both of those people got hugely stressed by events and have been telling everyone they know that they were being evicted even though the landlord hadn't served an eviction notice or even informally asked them to leave. Neither of them were willing to go to the Local Council or CAB for any advice or financial help.

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    It is hard to sympathise with a charity that exaggerates or fails to argue a balanced viewpoint. It lessens their credibility with political parties and those that finance their work.
    If I read this correctly,(and I may not as the sentence isn't clear), the charity are saying, by way of their extrapolation, of the 4.6M PRS homes, landlords have caused 830,000 tenants to move against their will in only one year. If their figure is extrapolated, it would mean 20% of all PRS tenancies terminated in one year or less, which is clearly inaccurate.
    Again, the charity does itself no credit in saying the proposed Renters Reform Bill is 'watered down into insignificance.' This is another exaggeration. There are only three issues with the bill, as it stands at present, and they all make good sense: firstly, the issue of student letting that needs to run in alignment with term times; secondly, the introduction of a minimum rental period for tenants to avoid them using PRS as a short-term letting platform; and thirdly improving the Court process, which nobody can disagree with, is too slow and needs reform.

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    Why doesn't NRLA counter this on behalf of landlords with the figures for the landlord costs of trying to remove a bad tenant or find new tenants when a tenant leaves by their own choice?


    Karen I am surprised as well that the NRLA doesn't counter exaggerations and factual inaccuracies coming from Charities that, oddly, are given a lot a media space.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Forget the NRLA, I cancelled my membership because of this. I spoke to their policy team and asked why they let these crackpots create havoc with no fightback.

    They told me it was because they have taken the decision to work from within government on this. So Beadles About new best mate is Michael Gove and fk all landlords.


    Karen, you thought the NRLA was there to support landlords? 🤔 No, it is there to encourage landlords to use their services for a fee or commission. 😠

    Bungling Boy Beadle showed his true colours early on and his silence on Shelters lies, because that is what they are, speaks volumes. 🤬 I will not be renewing my membership this year.

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    I have a property vacant that I might sell against my Will because of the Renters Reform Bill.
    The Solicitor told me its good that its vacant if I want to Sell or he’ll have to write to the Tenants that I am going to sell, its become as if I need their permission, so let it stop vacant double C/tax and all for nothing.

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    wow 600 only, i wish it only cost me that to get a tenant out and fix up the property after the move. i get no change from 4k

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    Stunningly stupid of Shelter!

    I'm not sure if Shelter and Polly herself is this stupid or they know their figures are nonsense but believe their target audience is that stupid they will believe it!

    £800 on double rent - not a chance. Why would they be paying double rent? They have two months to move out and find somewhere and landlords are looking for good tenants. A good landlord will wait for a tenant.... that said I always advise a week overlap so that the tenant isn't under the one day stress of moving, cleaning, etc.

    £245 on bills at 2 properties - rubbish... utter rubbish! If they've only living in one property then the other has only daily standing charges and it doesn't amount to £245!!

    £200 - loss of earnings to view - I've never met a tenant who took time off work to view a property. Most landlords/agents do viewings in the evenings and weekends and so it's their CHOICE!

    £200 loss of earnings to move - how on earth does anyone lose earnings to move if they plan it for a weekend. Maybe they deliberately schedule on a Friday (losing a day's pay) in order to have the three days (inc weekend)... but it's their CHOICE!

    Removal van hire - £200, perhaps the ONLY reasonable NON-CHOSEN cost!

    Cleaning costs £100 - Why are they paying someone to clean their dirt and then blame the landlord? They should be cleaning regularly and their move should just be another clean.

    Replace furniture £400 - This is the throw the kitchen sink at the made up figures because it's nuts. If tenants are so poor, and so hard done by, how can they afford to replace their furniture at a time of great expense? Answer they don't or they CHOOSE to!

    One-off fees £50 - Wifi... nope, most don't charge for this.

    Shelter and organisations like them are in my opinion parasites of the world. They don't really care about the people they care about (tenants) but they do love publicity to put themselves in the limelight, attract more donations and feel good. Polly Neate is in my opinion worse than politicians because she's highly educated and knows better!

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    More to the point why are tenants evicted 99 times out of a 100 due to none payment of rent

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    I have not read all the comments or the article for that matter. However I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “Landlords don’t evict good Tenants” so I don’t care how much it costs scum bags.


    In fact Robert the more it costs the scum bags the better, good tenants are safe

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    What is 100% predictable is Shelters appetite for gross and poorly qualified exaggeration. And dumbo’s like Gove fall for it!

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    All Just From the Tenants Perspective. F the landlords costs. They r irrelevant.

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    As a repeat tenant - I greet these proposals with total horror. They will make tenancies far more expensive for me and the choice far more limited. IME, landlords DON'T WANT TO EVICT GOOD TENANTS. Indeed, will bend over backwards to keep tenants like me. Indeed, even the possibility of such legislation appears to have driven many would-be landlords out of the market. Two of the ten flats in my block are now just pied a terre for their owners - who used to let them out. They are flats that I might easily have rented myself. I know that the insurance costs in the service charges here have quadrupled in the last two or three years - a block of flats at flood risk not being considered at all, for most insurers. So one month of rent only covers the owner's share of that insurance. The block's windows and doors are being replaced by the property management company - my landlord's share of that is 35k. Yet they can charge no more rent than another owner, elsewhere, not facing such bills. It's a mug's game, being a landlord. That's before these changes. All the good landlords will be driven out. Leaving the ones that no tenant wants to experience.

    Frank Browne

    Susan, a very articulate response from an obviously sensible tenant. As a managing agent I salute you and all the other good tenants who understand the future implications that are being caused by the RRB and the self serving "tenant protection" quangos. It would be great if more of you could get onto the anti landlord tenant forums and explain from your perspective rather than landlords all looking, to them, like greedy pariahs craving sympathy. Once again, well done!!


    Hi Susan.
    Great to see someone from the tenant's side that sees through all the anti landlord hype being peddled by the supposed tenants support groups, who house no-one. but carry on bombarding the Govt with all these false facts because it serves their purpose but does nothing to help tenants. Unfortunately the Govt appears to listen to then but doesn't engage with landlords ot take much notice of the damage they are doing to the private rented sector


    Well your landlord is a lease holder and there is the problem, charges and fees completely out of his control, which will of course have to be passed onto tenants

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    I have tenants like Susan and I haven’t raised the rent for over 20 years. A good tenant is a blessing.


    Good tenants welcome, until those good tenants turn bad, so a guarantor with every new let now


    No rent increases in 20 years?
    Your tenants will have a BIG shock if they ever have to leave.

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    They won’t leave …. I guess only in a box then I will get out of this business!!


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