Friday 09 April 2021
Our Private Rented Sector report has received some great local and national coverage.
Citizens Advice now helping one renter every minute
The Times, 05/04/2021
Half a million tenants were thought to be in arrears at the beginning of the year, owing more than £700 on average. Citizens Advice estimated that £360 million was owed across the country, with a quarter of private tenants in arrears having received threats of eviction or cancellation of their contract.
In the first two months of the year the charity recorded a 40 percent increase in people seeking advice on issues relating to the private rented sector compared with the same period last year.
Alistair Cromwell, the charity’s acting chief executive, called for the government to use the Renters’ Reform Bill, which will be put to parliament this year, to install a body to set standards in the rental market and protect tenants.
He said: “Our research paints a disturbing picture of a private rental market in which tenants pay high rents on badly maintained properties, while living in constant fear that any complaint could result in eviction.”
Gill Pipkin from Citizens Advice Cornwall spoke to BBC One’s Spotlight and BBC Radio Cornwall (1 hour 10 minutes in) about the issue. Gill explained the charity had seen a 77% increase for private renters advice in January and February this year compared to last. Gill continued that “Extending the eviction ban is simply kicking the can down the road. The upcoming Renters’ Reform Bill provides and opportunity to lay foundations for a more equal private rented sector. We’d also like to see a National Housing Body implemented to set consistent standard, and the introduction of indefinite tenancies to allow for more certainty.”
Having an address got me a job when I was homeless
BBC, 03/04/2021, Katie Prescott
Addresses represent far more than a physical location or a home, they are an integral part of identification. Without one, people struggle to apply for benefits, jobs, a library card, opening a bank account or getting on the electoral register.
It’s a Catch-22 situation. which has led to Citizens Advice calling a lack of addresses “the postal paradox”. As well as being excluded from signing up to essential services, the organisation found that homeless people are likely to miss important correspondence, which can lead to benefit sanctions, arrest warrants, dropping down waiting lists and missing out on housing.