Even landlords unsure about their responsibilities to be safe and fair
New research among more than 2,000 UK adults by LetBritain has revealed that millions of tenants and landlords across the country are unaware of the laws governing the rental sector. It found:
- 37% of UK tenants and 16% of landlords do not know that renters must be given at least two months’ notice if a landlord wishes to evict them
- A third of all people in rented accommodation – 34%, or 5.8 million people – do not realise they have the right for their deposits to be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme
- 12% of UK landlords were also unaware of this rule
- Even more renters (43%, or 7.4 million) and landlords (19%) have no idea that tenants can challenge any excessive charges made by a landlord via an ombudsman
- More than a quarter (28%) of tenants did not know a landlord should provide 24 hours’ notice before entering their property
- 34% were unaware that a landlord must provide an Energy Performance Certificate
- Exactly half of renters (8.6 million people) are uninformed that the rent charged by a landlord should be comparable to similar properties in the area or can be challenged
- 27% of landlords are also clueless about this fact
A huge number of tenants and landlords across the UK are in the dark when it comes to the rules and regulations governing the country’s rental market, new research by virtual online letting agent LetBritain has found.
LetBritain commissioned an independent, nationally-representative survey among more than 2,000 UK adults. It showed that a third (34%) of people living in rented accommodation do not know that they have the right for their deposits to be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme – this equates to a group of 5.8 million unaware renters. Even more (37%) do not realise that a tenant must be given at least two months’ notice if a landlord wishes to evict them.
Other regulatory issues that are widely unknown by renters included the fact that a landlord must provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property (34% do not know this); a landlord should provide 24 hours’ notice before entering the property (28%); and tenants have the right to challenge rental prices if they are not comparable to similar properties in the area (50%). More than two fifths of private renters (43%) also do not know that tenants can challenge any excessive charges made by a landlord via an ombudsman.
The research comes as figures show that 29% of UK renters lose their deposits every year, at an average of £825 each. Furthermore, the number of privately rented households is due to grow from the current 5.4 million to 7.2 million by 2021.
Worryingly, LetBritain’s research also revealed that thousands of the UK’s landlords are unaware of vital pieces of legislation. For example, 16% of landlords do not know they must give at least two months’ notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 if they want to evict a tenant – that equates to 426,000 landlords in the dark about this fact. Similarly, 12% do not know they must provide 24 hours’ notice before entering the property; 14% do not realise it is their responsibility to arrange and pay for any repairs to the exterior of a property; 12% of landlords do not know they should put tenants’ deposits in a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme; and 27% have no idea that tenants have the right to challenge the rent being charged if it is not comparable to similar properties in the area.
FareedNabir, CEO of LetBritain, commented: “Today’s research delivers some really important findings. It is clear that a huge proportion of UK renters – a population growing in size – do not truly understand the legislation and regulation in place to protect them. Likewise, a concerning number of landlords are also in the dark about exactly what rights and responsibilities they have. Such a lack of awareness increases the risk of renters and landlords being exploited – it must be addressed and lettings agents certainly have a duty to better inform all their customers about the vital legislative framework governing the rental sector.”