Community are delighted to be supporting the Renters’ Rights Awareness Week organised by Generation Rent, the campaign group working to ensure every home in the private rented sector is safe, secure and affordable.
The number of private renters is growing exponentially. In 2018, five million households in the UK rented from a private landlord – over double the number from 2000. This equates to 13 million people, or one in five of us.
Pretty much every private renter has a bad landlord story or knows someone who does. 14% of private rental homes are estimated to fail safety standards. 25% are considered “non-decent”, which means they are technically safe but have disrepair or poor heating. By comparison, 4% of housing association homes are unsafe and 11% “non-decent”.
Many private renters are also finding their rent increasingly unaffordable. The average couple in a private tenancy pays 41% of their income on rent, compared to 18% for homeowners and 30% for social tenants.
The Coronavirus pandemic has only worsened the housing crisis, with many people losing their jobs or being on reduced income struggling to make the rent and have found themselves with arrears.
Whilst evictions are barred during the pandemic, this restriction was lifted in England on 31st May 2021 and will be lifted in Scotland on 30th September. From 1st June, notice periods – which had previously been extended to six months – will now be set at four months.
So what can you do for the week?
Generation Rent are organising a series of webinars for private renters suitable for if you’re new to renting, having problems with your landlord or even if you just feel you need a refreshment on your rights.
Not only will private renters be able to join online webinars free of charge, but they will be able to download factsheets with the latest renters’ rights information. These factsheets will be available in English and a variety of different languages.
More information on the week can be found here.
Whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever your living situation, it’s important to know your rights to ensure you’re protected.
For immediate crisis housing advice, contact Shelter.
To join Community, visit www.community-tu.org/join.