April 18

Shelter Claims Evictions Cost Tenants £669 on Average


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Shelter recent findings reveal a significant financial burden on tenants, suggesting that each eviction incurs an average of £669 in unrecoverable costs. This sum, when extrapolated, amounts to a staggering £550 million annually in England alone. These figures underscore the substantial financial strain experienced by renters as a result of involuntary moves from their rental properties.

The charity’s claim is based on a comprehensive survey conducted last month, which gathered insights from 2,002 individuals across various demographics. This extensive data collection provides robust evidence of the economic challenges faced by tenants navigating evictions in the private rental sector. It sheds light on the hidden costs associated with forced relocations, illuminating the broader impact on individuals and households affected by these circumstances.

Understanding the financial implications of evictions is crucial for policymakers, landlords, and tenants alike. The significant financial burden highlighted by Shelter’s research underscores the urgent need for effective interventions to support renters facing involuntary displacement. As discussions surrounding tenant rights and housing affordability continue, addressing these hidden costs is essential for fostering a fairer and more equitable rental market for all parties involved.

Shelter’s comprehensive analysis offers a sobering glimpse into the challenges confronting renters in the UK, revealing a staggering 830,000 instances of involuntary moves within the past year alone. This figure underscores the harsh realities faced by a significant portion of the population, with 40% of respondents indicating that their last relocation was not a choice they made willingly, but rather a consequence of external circumstances beyond their control.

Delving deeper into the data, the charity uncovers the multifaceted nature of these forced relocations. Among the key findings, approximately 245,000 tenants found themselves compelled to seek new accommodation due to the expiration of their fixed-term tenancies, while an additional 61,000 were forced to vacate their homes following rent increases, highlighting the financial strain experienced by many in the rental market.

Furthermore, the study elucidates the various factors driving these involuntary moves. A concerning 190,000 individuals were served with formal eviction notices, underscoring the legal complexities and challenges faced by renters navigating the intricacies of the housing system. Additionally, an alarming 135,000 respondents reported being informally asked to leave by their landlords, shedding light on the power dynamics inherent within landlord-tenant relationships and the vulnerability of renters to sudden changes in housing circumstances.

The charity is critical of the Renters Reform Bill’s slow advancement through Parliament, warning that it may be substantially weakened before reaching enactment. They highlight concerns that without significant reforms, renters will remain exposed to the inherent instability of the rental system.

Despite highlighting an average unrecoverable cost of £669 per move, the charity asserts that additional expenses exacerbate the financial strain on renters, underscoring the need for comprehensive action to address the challenges they face.

These include:

– Paying rent for two properties simultaneously, costing around £800 according to Shelter’s estimate.
– Covering bills for both properties, averaging £245.
– Losing earnings to attend property viewings, estimated at £200.
– Losing income during the moving process, amounting to £200 on average.
– Hiring a removal van, which typically costs about £200.
– Covering cleaning expenses, averaging £100.
– Replacing furniture, with an average cost of £400.
– One-off fees like Wi-Fi installation, typically around £50.

When considering these additional expenses, the average initial cost of each unwanted move surges to £1,245, totaling over £1 billion. Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, criticizes the government’s hesitancy regarding the Renters Reform Bill, stating that tenants bear the financial brunt of unnecessary moves. Weak eviction protections and high rents force many renters out of their homes, disrupting their lives.

Neate urges the government to fulfill its promise by delivering a robust bill, resisting attempts to reintroduce fixed-term tenancies and delaying the ban on no-fault evictions. The research does not address landlord expenses. This stance underscores the importance of protecting tenants’ rights and providing them with stability in the rental market, especially amid ongoing discussions about legislative reforms.


Renters Reform Bill, Shelter UK

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