Illegal rentals costing tenants £321m extra in energy bills
A quarter of a million landlords are letting families live in homes that are so expensive to heat they are illegal to let out. We estimate tenants in properties across England to be spending £321 million more this year on energy bills than they would if their homes met basic standards.Read more
Licensing landlords drives up standards in England
Councils that require landlords to be licensed take more than twice as much enforcement action as those that don’t.Read more
Licensing schemes protect tenants - so let's do more
The licensing of rented properties makes it much easier for tenants to enforce their rights. It also helps to tackle criminal landlords.Read more
You may have more protections than you think
The ban on most evictions was lifted this week and the notice period on Section 21 evictions has been reduced from 6 months to 4 months. But if your landlord has failed to provide you with certain documents you could be protected from eviction - up to three quarters of renters, according to our latest research.
Our new research has also revealed the lack of knowledge about rights among private renters, which the first Renters' Rights Awareness Week, taking place on 14-20 June, aims to change.Read more
Evictions are hard to stop - even when they're illegal
Although landlords don't need a reason to evict you in England and Wales, they must still follow certain rules. If you don't move out after your notice period ends, the landlord must apply for a possession order in court, then only bailiffs appointed by the court can physically remove you from your home.
If the landlord tries to evict you themselves, it's a criminal offence under the 1977 Protection from Eviction Act. That includes changing the locks, dumping your belongings outside, cutting off the electricity or water supply and other types of harassment. The penalties include paying back up to a year's rent.Read more
Once again, renters are vulnerable to revenge evictions
After six months of no evictions taking place at all, courts have reopened and landlords can resume the legal process of evicting their tenants.
Despite the government's insistence that "the most egregious" cases will be prioritised, tenants can still be booted out without a reason, with no ability to appeal it and only six weeks' grace if they face "extreme hardship".
This is possible because of Section 21, the law that the government promised to abolish last year. Today it is exactly one year since the government closed it's consultation on proposals to change the law, and we are still waiting for it to publish the Renters Reform Bill to make it all happen. Join our campaign to get Section 21 scrapped.
Protection from revenge evictions a postcode lottery
This week we launched the End Unfair Evictions coalition with ACORN, London Renters Union, and New Economics Foundation. We're calling for an end to Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without needing a reason.
One reason we're doing is that existing protections are not working in practice.
Back in 2014/15, we fought a hard campaign alongside Shelter, GMB Young London and others to give tenants basic protection from eviction when they complained about their landlord.
The resulting measures in the Deregulation Act 2015 stopped landlords from serving a Section 21 eviction notice to tenants if the council had found hazards in the property and served an appropriate improvement notice on the owner. This protection lasted for 6 months and was meant to give tenants more confidence in getting their landlord to fix health and safety problems, because the landlord can no longer simply retaliate by kicking them out.Read more
London's renters are not getting enough protection from their council
With the votes counted in last week's London borough elections we now have some new council leaders. One of their responsibilities is to make sure local private renters are living in safe homes. But judging by the 32 councils' record in 2016-17, they have a lot of work to do.
London Boroughs took action against just 1 percent of the capital’s worst landlords in 2016-17. That's just one of the findings that we've uncovered in new analysis of Freedom of Information data - the basis of a new league table of council performance.Read more
Government launches secret landlord blacklist
Landlords get to ask tenants for a reference, but there's no way we can check what a prospective landlord is like. That's why we've long been calling for a central database that names and shames criminal landlords.
From today we've got one. But there's a catch: only local councils can access it.Read more
Rented London: How local authorities can support private renters
Local council elections are taking place in London in a few months. And just like the 2016 Mayoral race, these contests will be dominated by the city's housing crisis. From Haringey to Kensington and Chelsea, Londoners are looking for secure and affordable homes, and asking their councils to respond.Read more