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Citizens Advice reports 17 per cent spike in PRS tenants seeking eviction advice

by: Anna Sagar
  • 27/05/2021
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Citizens Advice reports 17 per cent spike in PRS tenants seeking eviction advice
Citizens Advice has reported a spike in enquiries about eviction from private rental tenants and has reiterated calls for government to provide grants and loans to renters facing arrears due to the pandemic.

 

The charity said 6,556 people came to it for help with issues about eviction in the first four months of the year. This is an increase of 17 per cent compared to the same period last year.

A poll of 6,000 people conducted by Citizens Advice and ICM Limited found that nearly one in 10 private renters were behind in making rental payments, equivalent to 350,000 tenants.

Citizens Advice also revealed that the average amount of arrears had increased by nearly a quarter over the past few months to £907 in April.

Dame Clare Moriarty, cheif executive at Citizens Advice, said that with the ban on most bailiff-enforced evictions coming to an end on Monday, thousands of renters were at risk of losing their homes as they are still struggling financially due to the pandemic.

Moriarty reiterated calls for government to introduce a system of ring-fenced grants for renters in receipt of government benefits or those otherwise eligible for benefits.

She also repeated a request for government-backed interest free loans for renters who can afford to repay them, including those who have been furloughed and are struggling to pay their rent currently, but will be able to in future.

In August 2020, Citizens Advice formed a coalition with Shelter, the National Residential Landlords Association, ARLA Propertymark, Crisis and Generation Rent to call for a short-term package of emergency grants and loans worth £270m.

Moriarty also urged that Section 21 notices – so-called no-fault evictions – be ended as part of reforms to the private rented sector.

“The lack of security renters in England will face from Monday is a symptom of a longer-term problem where tenants can be evicted without cause. The government has committed to ending no-fault evictions and it’s vital this is urgently enshrined in law in their forthcoming reforms to the private rented sector,” she said.

Along with lifting the ban on evictions, the notice period landlords must give tenants will reduce from six to four months.

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