Soaring House Prices Tempt Landlords to Evict More Tenants With No Rent Arrears
According to Citizens Advice Bureaux, ever increasing house prices are causing more and more landlords to seek greater income gains by evicting their current tenants, even those that represent ‘model renters’.
The CAB report that a rising number of tenants who are fully up-to-date on their rent and who have had no complaints lodged against them are being faced with eviction as their landlords seek to exploit the rate of house price appreciation by securing higher rents from new potential tenants.
Last year 3,750 people faced with eviction even though they possessed no rent arrears sought advice from the CAB. This year that figure has risen to 5,000 – an increase of 38%.
Furthermore, according to CAB, eviction by private landlords was the most common contributory factor to problems with homelessness experienced by people whom they helped last year, represented 10% of the 80,000 homelessness related cases they saw in 2013-2014.
According to the charity it is common for tenants to be evicted following a request to their landlord to carry out repairs or because the owner wishes to sell the property. Many people are also reporting having been evicted following a sudden rent increase to unaffordable and often exorbitant levels. Additionally, and in some ways most alarmingly, an increasing amount of people are being served with notices to quit following a change in their employment status that forces them to move onto housing benefit, regardless of the fact that they are not in arrears.
Chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy says that:
“Tenants are being treated as cash cows ‘in a landlords’ market in which ‘tenants are easy to replace’, a scenario which inevitably results in increasing insecurity for people trying to create a home in the private rented sector.”
However Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association (NLA), refutes much of the CAB’s findings, claiming that:
“While facing eviction for whatever reason is undoubtedly very stressful for those involved, Government figures show that only 9% of tenancies are ended by the landlord and more than 90% of those are because of rent arrears.”
A certain amount of concurrence with the NLA is to be found in the fact that Housing Minister Kris Hopkins’ stated that he is:
“…clear that no reputable landlord would respond to a request for repairs by evicting their tenants, which is why we are considering whether landlords should be banned from evicting tenants for that reason.”
However, commenting on the CAB report, Emma Reynolds, Labour’s shadow Housing Minister, said:
“This shocking research demonstrates the growing instability and insecurity faced by private renters. Imagine having to leave your family home because you complained about the conditions or because the rent has been hiked up with no warning.”
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