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CAB News 02 April 2021

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CAB News 02 April 2021

Friday 02 April 2021

Our latest star rating for energy suppliers has been published and been covered in several national newspapers.

National

Energy

Energy bills to rise by almost £100 for 15 million households from April 1

Mail Online, 31/03/2021

Our new energy star rating has been featured in the national press, with many papers linking the story to today’s rise in in the price cap for customers on default tariffs.

The Daily Mail’s website included a picture of one of our tweets giving advice for people struggling with their energy bills, and a quote from Alistair Cromwell.

Alistair said: “With the rise in the energy price cap, many will have to pay more and rightly expect a decent service. Suppliers must step up to give their customers what they deserve.

“Everyone should consider whether they are getting value for money from their supplier – paying more doesn’t always mean you will receive a better service.

“Don’t put up with it if it’s not good enough. Shop around if you can.”

The star rating also featured in The Mirror, the Evening StandardMorning Star, The Star, Company News and several regional daily newspapers such as the Lancashire Telegraph.

Housing

What should you do if your landlord does not repair your home?

itn.com, 31/03/2021

ITN has been running a series of features on the poor living conditions of many tenants in social housing.

Our Senior Housing Expert Amy Hughes provided detailed advice for the broadcaster’s website for all tenants who have issues with maintenance or disrepair.

Talking about private renters, and the problem of section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, Amy said: “Some unscrupulous landlords use this as a ‘revenge eviction’ when tenants complain about their living conditions.”

She added: “This situation, understandably, means private tenants are very often reluctant to bring up maintenance or disrepair issues with their landlords.”

The article noted that “The government did promise to abolish the section 21 notices used for revenge evictions in 2019 but has not made any progress so far.”

The article also carried several links to the advice pages on our website.

Citizens Advice says it is helping one tenant every minute

i , 26/03/2021, Chris Newlands

“One single mother said she was issued with an eviction notice after complaining to her landlord that she had been without heating and hot water.”

The experiences of our case study Sophia led coverage in the i newspaper of our report One Renter Every Minute, which highlights growing problems in the private rented sector.

Sophia said: “I’m a wreck. I can’t sleep. I am up every night at 3am in the morning and throwing up worrying about it. I have until the end of May to find somewhere to live.”

Alistair Cromwell 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 summary eviction.”

Our Director of External Affairs, Katie Martin, was interviewed by Lisa Aziz on LBC (2 hrs 35 mins into clip). Her comments were then played on numerous local radio stations in the Globals network including Jazz Fm and talkSport.

Katie said problems in the private rental market that were present before the pandemic are now re-emerging “with a vengeance”.

Katie added: “People are still living in fear of eviction by their landlord if they complain about the home they’re living in.”

Radio 4 used the story as part of its morning News Briefing and Times Radio also featured our research in its news bulletins. The Sun used Alistair’s quote in their article, which focused on the advice angle of the story. The My London news website wrote up the press release, as did a number of property websites, including Letting Agent Today, Landlord Zone and Property Reporter.

Magazines

Consumer

How to complain like a pro

Good Housekeeping, 31/01/2021, Susanne Norris

Our consumer experts have contributed to a comprehensive feature in Good Housekeeping magazine on how to complain and get results.

Lynette William, Consumer Expert at Citizens Advice, said that while you should always start by contacting the seller to complain, sometimes things don’t go to plan, and you may need to escalate your complaint.

“Check on [the seller’s] website to see if they belong to a Trade Association,” advised Lynette. “You might be able to ask the Association for advice on how to proceed and use their Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme if they have one. ADRs can offer a way to solve your problem through mediation or arbitration.”