Rental sector in the dark over rights

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New research by LetBritain has revealed that more that millions of tenants and landlords across the country are unaware of the laws governing the rental sector

LetBritain commissioned an independent, nationally-representative survey among more than 2,000 UK adults. It showed that a third (34%) of people living in rented accommodation did not know that they have the right for their deposits to be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme – this equates to a group of 5.8 million unaware renters. Even more (37%) did not realise that a tenant must be given at least two months’ notice if a landlord wishes to evict them.

The research found that:

  • 37% of UK tenants and 16% of landlords did not know that renters must be given at least two months’ notice if a landlord wishes to evict them
  • A third of all people in rented accommodation – 34%, or 5.8 million people – did not realise they have the right for their deposits to be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme
    • 12% of UK landlords were also unaware of this rule
  • Even more renters (43%, or 7.4 million) and landlords (19%) had no idea that tenants can challenge any excessive charges made by a landlord via an ombudsman
  • More than a quarter (28%) of tenants did not know a landlord should provide 24 hours’ notice before entering their property
  • 34% were unaware that a landlord must provide an Energy Performance Certificate
  • Exactly half of renters (8.6 million people) were uninformed that the rent charged by a landlord should be comparable to similar properties in the area or can be challenged
    • 27% of landlords were also clueless about this fact

The research comes as figures show that 29% of UK renters lose their deposits every year, at an average of £825 each. Furthermore, the number of privately rented households is set to grow from the current 5.4 million to 7.2 million by 2021.

Worryingly, LetBritain’s research also revealed that thousands of the UK’s landlords are unaware of vital pieces of legislation. For example, 16% of landlords did not know they must give at least two months’ notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 if they want to evict a tenant – that equates to 426,000 landlords in the dark about this fact.

Fareed Nabir, CEO of LetBritain, said: “Today’s research delivers some really important findings. It is clear that a huge proportion of UK renters – a population growing in size – do not truly understand the legislation and regulation in place to protect them. Likewise, a concerning number of landlords are also in the dark about exactly what rights and responsibilities they have. Such a lack of awRenters spend considerably more income on housing than homeowners
areness increases the risk of renters and landlords being exploited – it must be addressed and lettings agents certainly have a duty to better inform all their customers about the vital legislative framework governing the rental sector.”

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