Revenge evictions: tenants who complain almost twice as likely to be kicked out

New report suggests renters who make a formal complaint have a 46% chance of being given an eviction notice

A row of houses to rent in Birmingham
(Image credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Renters who complain to their landlord about problems at their rental property are statistically almost twice as likely to be evicted than those who keep quiet, a new report has found.

Citizens Advice says that private renters who formally complain about issues such as damp and mould have an almost one-in-two (46%) chance of being given an eviction notice within six months.

The charity estimates that about 141,000 tenants have been affected since rules were introduced in 2015 designed to bring an end to retaliatory evictions, “where a tenant makes a legitimate complaint to their landlord about a property but is served with an eviction notice”, says HuffPost.

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It found that tenants who had received a Section 21 “no-fault eviction” notice were five times more likely to have gone to their local authority and eight times more likely to have complained to a redress scheme.

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Gillian Guy, chief executive of the charity, said: “The chance of a family being evicted from their home for complaining about a problem shouldn’t carry the same odds as the toss of a coin.”

She added that their report was proof that “well-intentioned laws created to put an end to revenge evictions have not worked, and a new fix is needed”.

She added: “Those living in substandard properties must have greater protection against eviction when they complain.”

A Government consultation on proposals to introduce minimum three-year tenancies in the private rental sector closes at the end of the month.

Citizens Advice backs the idea but warns that potential loopholes could undermine protections. It says that three-year tenancies should include “limits on rent rises to prevent landlords from effectively evicting tenants through pricing them out”.

A Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government spokesman said: “Everyone deserves a decent and secure place to live, which is why we have increased protection for people living in rented homes.

“We have introduced new measures to stop so-called retaliatory evictions but we know we need to do more and we are consulting on three-year minimum tenancies.”

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