According to a survey, more than four in ten private renters in England have experienced illegal behavior from their landlord or agent.
According to a survey by the charity Shelter, around 45% of private renters have experienced illegal acts such as entering a home without prior notice or permission, assault and harassment.
Extrapolating this using the English Housing Survey, that equates to 3.7 million people exposed to illegal activities, says Shelter.
Approximately 3,561 private tenants were surveyed by YouGov between August 6 and September 7.
A quarter of those surveyed had seen a real estate agent or landlord enter their home without prior notice or permission.
More than a fifth (22%) stated that important safety or household devices such as smoke detectors, central heating or water supply were not working when they moved in.
About 18% said their deposit was not covered by an approved government protection scheme, while 9% said they had been attacked, threatened or harassed.
Another 9% said they had been treated fairly because of their race, age, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
And 8% said they were removed from their home without proper notice or without following correct procedures.
Ahead of the Conservative Party conference, Shelter calls on the government to better protect tenants.
She wants the upcoming Tenant Reform Act to include a national landlord register to regulate the private sector and help tenants enforce their rights.
Polly Neate, General Manager of Shelter, said, “Home is everything, but millions of private renters across the country don’t feel safe in their homes because landlords and brokers are breaking the law.
“People shouldn’t have to put up with broken security alarms, unregistered strangers, or threats of harassment and violence.”
Ben Beadle, executive director of the National Residential Landlords Association, said, “There is no excuse for a landlord or broker to act illegally.
“There are already almost 170 laws affecting the industry, many of which are designed to protect tenants.
“What we need is no longer regulation, but adequate enforcement by better-equipped councils to eradicate and deter criminal landlords who openly break the law.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government said: “Private tenants have the right to live in a safe, respectful environment and to be treated fairly – so we are committed to providing tenants with better deals.”
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