Landlords from Hell exposed

4 July 2011

Jon Snow

Private tenants feel powerless when facing problems with their landlord, Shelter research reveals, as Jon Snow investigates Landlords from Hell in Channel 4’s Dispatches.

OurYouGov survey showed that:

  • 7.5 million (16 per cent) people have had issues with their landlord in the last ten years
  • Three million (41 per cent) say they tried to talk to their landlord but they did nothing.
  • 550,000 people (seven per cent) said they did nothing because they were scared of the consequences.

These figures come on the same day that Channel 4’s Dispatches exposes the shocking treatment of tenants at the hands of Britain’s worst landlords.

Presenter Jon Snow investigates a range of underhand tactics adopted by landlords, including renting out dangerous and squalid properties and illegally renting out sheds.

Watch Landlords from Hell on 4oD

3.4 million people in this country live in rented homes, a 40 per cent rise in the past five years. With changes to the housing safety net, including the recent housing benefit cuts, Shelter is concerned vulnerable families will be pushed into the bottom end of an unregulated private rented sector unprotected from a minority of rogue landlords who may look to cash in.

Sign Shelter's petition to protect tenants

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive said: ‘It is wholly unacceptable that people are left to live in conditions like those exposed in today’s programme. Throughout this campaign we have been continually shocked at the treatment tenants receive at the hands of these unscrupulous operators.

'What is more worrying is that this research shows just how many people are being affected by rogue landlord practice.’

31.1 million (66 per cent) of people surveyed agree that they want stronger and clearer rules for landlords so private tenants are protected.

Mr Robb continued: ‘The Government has to recognise its responsibility to protect this vast and growing population of private tenants, especially as our research has proved that Generation Rent want better rules to protect them.

‘We urge the Housing Minister to work closely with all local authorities and ensure they are using every weapon in their armoury to crack down on unlawful operators, like those exposed in Dispatches. It is absolutely essential that we are sending a clear signal to tenants, landlords and local authorities that enforcing the law against rogue landlords is a priority.’

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