New research released today has revealed that in the last year alone one in nine private renters in the Yorkshire and Humber region has suffered from an illegal act committed by a landlord.
Nationally, over a million – or one in eight – private renters across England has suffered at the hands of a landlord who has broken the law.
Alarmingly, the survey by Shelter and YouGov uncovered a range of problems with law-breaking landlords in the Yorkshire and Humber region, ranging from unlawful behaviour to serious criminal offences.
While reports of landlords entering homes without permission and deposits not being properly protected were among the most common complaints from renters, many cases of shocking behaviour from rogue landlords were also uncovered in the survey.
The most striking findings from the region included:
- The equivalent of nearly 5,000 renters reported that a landlord has cut off their utilities without their consent
- Over 47,000 renters have had their home entered by a landlord without permission or notice being given
- Nearly 5,000 reported having been abused, threatened or harassed by a landlord
- Nearly 10,000 renters felt they had been treated unfairly due to their race, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.
The housing charity is warning that a minority of rogue landlords are causing misery to the lives of renters by committing these civil and criminal offences.
Often renters don’t know what their rights are. In just the last year, Shelter’s website has received over 220,000 unique visits to its advice pages for people facing problems with a private landlord.
Shelter’s helpline adviser, Danielle Goodwin, said:
Every day at Shelter we speak to people at the end of their tether after a law-breaking landlord has caused chaos in their lives. These range from instances where the renter has been unaware of their rights, to cases where renters are exploited and subjected to terrible experiences by a minority of law breaking landlords.
Too many people simply don’t know their rights as a renter – but Shelter is here to help anyone having landlord problems with free, expert advice. As a first port of call go to shelter.org.uk/advice or for urgent problems call our helpline on 0808 800 4444.