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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Charity records 'revenge evictions' increase

July 09 2014
Government stats show a 14 per cent increase in the number of people evicted and made homeless  in the previous 12 months

A record number of private renters who have found themselves homeless in the last year may be victims of ‘revenge evictions’ according to a leading housing charity.

Statistics provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 13,650 private renters have been evicted and made homeless in the last financial year, a 14 per cent increase on the number of people in the same position in the previous 12 months.

Housing specialists claim that one important factor is that landlords are taking advantage of the buoyant housing market to sell their properties, terminating tenants’ contracts in the process.

However, according to the housing charity Shelter who say this is the "tip of the iceberg", many people find themselves the victim of ‘revenge evictions’, so-called because tenants find their lease terminated after having made a complaint.

According to the charity’s own research, the number of people receiving eviction notices from landlords has doubled over the past year. One of the reasons for the large number of evictions according to Shelter is because of ‘revenge’ evictions.

These include many cases where tenants’ contracts have ended after they demanded landlords fix a problem in their property. Shelter says more than 213,000 people who had their tenancies cancelled at short notice last year.

Chief executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, said: “We know something is very wrong when a family can be kicked out at short notice.”

Robb has called on the government to do more to help provide security for renters: “The government has to act now to give renters more stable tenancies with better protection from unfair evictions and in the long term build more genuinely affordable homes to relieve the burden of huge rent and mortgage bills.”

The 13,650 made homeless due to private landlords ending their tenancy make up just over a quarter (26 per cent) of the total number of households accepted as homeless over the last 12 months. The overall number equals 52,260 households – a three per cent fall compared to the year before.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins said: “This government is committed to preventing and tackling homelessness. We have increased spending on schemes to prevent homelessness, making over £500m available to help the most vulnerable in society.”

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