Millions of renters don't know their rightsWhich? guide can put them on the right track

01 November 2007

 

A row of terrace houses

All homes with 4 or more bedrooms will now need a HIP

Millions of people who rent their home are in danger of being turfed out on to the street or plunged into debt because they don't know their rights, new research warns.

More people are now renting rather than buying a property due to soaring house prices over recent years.

While 12% of households in the UK are now privately renting, most of these tenants are unable to name any of their basic statutory rights, according to Community Legal Services Direct, which runs a free advice service for people on a lower incomes or benefits.

The organisation warns that this can lead to serious consequences from lawsuits and legal battles to homelessness and debt. And it found that 92% of renters in the UK have never received professional advice on renting a property even though 21% admits to having had a problem with a landlord.

Statutory rights

The research also found that:

  • just 3% of tenants are aware that their landlord is only entitled to keep their deposit if they can prove that the property has been mistreated
  • only 20% highlighted that a landlord must serve notice on a tenant if they wish them to leave
  • 86% didn't know landlords must keep the building in good condition, maintaining gas, electricity, water and heating equipment.