Housing charity Shelter has been accused of landlord bashing by fanning tenant fears of losing their homes.
The charity claims ‘countless renters’ face ‘revenge evictions’ for speaking out about bad housing conditions.
Shelter says research shows 213,000 private and social housing renters were served with eviction notices because they dared to complain about problems like damp and condensation in their homes.
And, says the charity, another 8% of renters were too scared to complain in case their landlord turfed them out of their home.
However, the Residential Landlords Association points out that the Shelter campaign is an unfair reflection of the facts – as 213,000 people is only 2% of the total number of renters in England and the survey really shows 98% of renters are happy with their accommodation and had no complaints.
Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said: “Shelter is once again needlessly playing to people’s fears.
“Whilst the RLA accepts that there are landlords who should be rooted out of the sector, the fact that almost 98pc of tenants have not faced the problems should be a sober reminder to Shelter that the majority of tenants face no problems whatsoever with their landlord.
“The best response to the problems that Shelter identifies is to encourage more good landlords into the sector in order to boost the supply of homes to rent and to provide tenants with genuine choices over where they live. Shelter’s continued vilification of landlords will serve only to put the good landlords off further investment in the sector and push tenants into the hands of those operating under the radar.”
Shelter’s study also claimed 40% of renters had problems with mould in the past year, while one in four had a leaking roof or windows, and 16% had lived with electrical hazards.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “No-one should lose their home for asking their landlord to fix a problem, yet these shocking findings uncover the true scale of unfair evictions taking place across the country.”