Renting: ‘We were kicked out because we complained’

Renting has become an increasingly popular choice for many people, but for some tenants, the experience has been far from positive.

According to a recent survey by the charity Shelter, one in five renters has been evicted or asked to leave their rented home due to complaining about repairs or other issues.

The survey, which spoke to 2,000 private renters in England, found that 43% of those who had complained about repairs or other issues said their landlord had then asked them to leave.

One tenant, who wished to remain anonymous, told the BBC that they had been asked to leave their rented home after complaining about a poor repair job.

“The repair job was done very poorly, and the landlord didn't want to do anything about it,” they said. “We were then asked to leave. It was very stressful and traumatic. We had to find somewhere else to live, and it took us over a month.”

The survey also found that many renters were afraid to speak up about issues in their home, with 40% of those surveyed saying they would not complain in case they were evicted.

“It’s heartbreaking to see how many people are being silenced by fear of eviction,” said Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter. “No-one should be kicked out of their home simply for speaking up.”

The survey also found that renters were being left in unacceptable conditions, with over a third of those surveyed saying their home had mould, damp or infestation issues.

The findings come as the government is set to introduce new measures to protect renters, including a ban on retaliatory evictions, which will stop landlords from evicting tenants who complain about repairs or other issues.

With renters increasingly facing unfair treatment, it is hoped that the new measures will help to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords and ensure they have safe, secure homes.