Medway Citizens Advice

Advice for Medway

Citizens Advice Medway is a registered charity that offers free, independent and impartial advice to the whole of Medway on a range of issues including Housing, Welfare Benefits, Employment, Debt, Family Law and many others.

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Settled and Safe - A renter's right:

20th February 2015

Settled and Safe - A renter's right:

Settled and Safe - A renter's right:

Citizens Advice is running a campaign in England throughout 2015 aimed at improving the private rented sector.

Help us end retaliatory eviction
The government has tabled amendments to the Deregulation Bill which will see an end to retaliatory evictions. The amendments prohibit landlords from serving a no-fault ‘section 21’ eviction notice for 6 months following the issue of a local authority improvement notice. Victims of revenge eviction will now have a right of appeal under these terms.

These amendments will be debated on 11th February- next Wednesday. If the House of Lords accepts them, they will become part of the Deregulation Bill and – hopefully – will pass into law when the bill secures royal assent. The Deregulation Bill then needs to make it through all the necessary parliamentary hurdles before 30th March, when the 2010-2015 Parliament is dissolved.

If you have a good relationship with your Lord, Baroness, Bishop or other Member of the House of Lords please do send them a copy of our briefing [ 100 kb] and ask them to support the Bill.

Bureaux take action

CABs in Coventry and Exeter have all had reports out in the last couple of weeks attracting media attention and support from local politicians.

Why are we running this campaign now?

Between July and September 2014 we helped 22,000 people with private rented homes issues such as illegal evictions, harassment, and problems with maintenance and repairs. This was increase of 6% on the same period last year.

In the same period we also saw a:

  • A seven per cent rise in the number of issues around paying rent up front.
  • Seven per cent more issues where people struggle to get their deposit back.
  • A 15 per cent increase in the number of issues where people are harassed or illegally evicted by landlords.
  • 14% rise in repairs and maintenance issues.

This is a great time to influence the private rented sector. Despite the recent vote to end retaliatory evictions failing to secure enough votes. The issue is now high on the political agenda and the Liberal Democrats have managed to add an amendment to the Deregulation Bill due to be read on Jan 14 so that politicians have another opportunity to vote on the issue.

Locally local authorities are also keen to tackle this issue too. Nearly all local authorities are currently looking and consulting on whether or not they should up some or licensing scheme for landlords.

What do we want?

The private rental sector is one of the last remaining markets where consumers are woefully under-protected. The near-total lack of safeguards for these households leaves tenants open to appalling treatment, little security and even less chance of redress.

We are campaigning for better protections for private renters. We believe that:

  1. No renter should be evicted simply for complaining about bad conditions. We want to see an end to retaliatory evictions.
  2. No renter should be at the mercy of rogue landlords who consistently break the rules, taking deposits unlawfully, harassing tenants or renting substandard homes. We want to see all local authorities in England set up a register of landlords that tackles the specific problems in their area.
  3. No renter should ever be left out of pocket after renting a home which proves to be dangerous or uninhabitable. We want tenants to be entitled to rent refunds where the property they're living in is dangerous or not fit to live in.
  4. No renter should ever have to pay excessive and inexplicable fees for the basic services a letting agent provides. We want to see an end to extortionate fees levied on renters by letting agents.
  5. No renter should ever lose their home at a moment's notice. We want all tenants to get reasonable notice before having to move out, even when caught up in a landlord's eviction.

How can I get involved?

Find out what your local authority is doing to tackles problems in the private rented sector. Fill in our survey about support for private tenants in your local authority. We will use the information to develop a model for local authorities to improve their services for renters.

Medway Citizens Advice

Contact us

Telephone: 01634 383760
Fax: 01634 383767

3rd Floor Kingsley House
37-39 Balmoral Road