Author: hspn

Private rented sector facts…the press don’t want you to know

Private rented sector facts…… The press don’t want you to know...

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The English Housing Survey was released this month and provides some very interesting and contradictory facts, if you are to believe recent press reports.
The National Housing survey is a detailed insight into the UKs housing circumstances and includes property condition as well as energy efficiency.
1 in 5 households in the UK live in Private rented accommodation, compared to 64% owner occupier and only 17% living in social rented accommodation.

Profile of a private renter

Profile of a private renter

The average age of a private renting tenant is 40yrs old and 60% are male, single households make up 25% while couples with children occupy 22% of the sector. Surprisingly on 11% live in shared accommodation or HMOs.

6% of those surveyed were living in overcrowded accommodation.

65% are in full time employment with 12% in part time work, with the average weekly income of £583, 83% identified as white with 74% stating Britsh or Irish.

50% of private renters were issued with a fixed term 12 month tenancy and on average stayed in the same property for 4.1 years.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Satisfaction guaranteed

Contrary to many press reports the survey states that a staggering 84% of private renters were either satisfied or very satisfied with their accommodation, however those in private rented properties spend the highest % of their household income on their housing cost, with Londoners spending on average 42% of their monthly income with the rest of the UK spending 33%.

Compared to social tenants who only spent on average 28% and homeowners with a mortgage as little as 17%.

Of those surveyed, only 20% of private renters were in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal credit Housing Element.

Surprisingly only 76% of private renters said they paid a deposit at the start of their tenancy, with only 73% confirming their deposit was protected, worryingly 20% didn’t know if their deposit was protected.

Only 11% of private rented had savings over £16,000 with 63% having no savings and only 58% of private renters believed they would eventually buy their own property.

Disrepairs

Disrepairs

In 2017-18 disrepair was worse in private rented accommodation with 25% of homes failing to meet the Decent Homes Standard compared with only 13% of social housing and according to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) 14% of private rented homes had a category 1 hazards compared to only 6% in social housing. Despite this 73% of private tenants were satisfied with repairs.

Tenant wont leave? Ancient law may help landlords claim double rent

Tenant wont leave? Ancient law may help landlords claim double rent.

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It has happened to the best of us, our tenant gives notice then at the last moment changes their mind and they will be staying.
This can cause a landlord and any would be (signed up tenants) a nightmare. Although landlord will have the legal right to possession, he will have to get a court order first which could take months (by which time the tenant will probably be long gone. An answer may lie in section 18 of the Distress for Rent Act 1737.

To quote the act.

“whereas great inconveniences have happened and may happen to landlords whose tenants have power to determine their leases, by giving notice to quit the premises by them holden, and yet refusing to deliver up the possession when the landlord hath agreed with another tenant for the same”

The act goes on to provide that if a tenant gives notice and then fails to leave, a landlord can charge double rent “and such double rent or sum shall continue to be paid during all the time such tenant or tenants shall continue in possession as aforesaid“.

However note the following:

  • The tenant must have served a proper valid notice to quit, which has been accepted by the landlord
  • The double rent can only be charged on a daily basis for the period of time the tenant overstays
  • It cannot be used if the tenant just fails to return the keys
  • It cannot be used if the tenant just stays on after the end of the fixed term (in which case in most cases a new periodic tenancy will arise)

Arguably the money can be deducted from the tenants deposit in the normal way, but few judges or adjudicators are aware of this law, so it may be hard to enforce (although landlords could just print out the extract from the statute).

I would be very interested to know if any landlords have actually used this rule, and if so, whether (if it was challenged) they were able to uphold the claim at court or arbitration.

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