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Shelter Cymru: Make renting right

Why Shelter Cymru is campaigning to end ‘no fault’ evictions in Wales.

The whole concept of a ‘no fault’ eviction is inherently unfair. The clue is in the name – if a tenant hasn’t done anything wrong, is it fair to expect them to leave their home and find somewhere else to live within two months, also having to finance the whole cost of moving which often adds up to thousands of pounds?

If on the other hand a landlord believes a tenant is at fault, is it fair that they are evicted using ‘no fault’ grounds which deny them the right to give their side of the story and have it heard by an impartial third party?

There’s a growing body of opinion in Wales that insecure short term private tenancies are bad for tenants, bad for community cohesion, and bad for homelessness prevention.

Shelter Cymru has launched a campaign and a petition to raise awareness of this issue with politicians and the public.

We’re highlighting the fact that poor security of tenure hits women private tenants particularly hard.

With YouGov we carried out a Wales-wide survey of private tenants in 2017 which found that women private tenants were:

  • More likely to have dependent children – 33% compared to 18% of male tenants
  • More likely to have a monthly rolling contract with low security of tenure – 46%, compared to 36% of male tenants
  • More likely to have experienced poor conditions in their home in the last year – 61%, compared to 46% of male renters
  • More likely to fear revenge eviction – 10% said they hadn’t asked for repairs in their current home due to fear of eviction, compared to 3% of men.

Women tenants are also more likely to be asked for ‘sex for rent’ and low security makes it very hard to fight back.

Our proposals would ensure that landlords could gain possession when they have a genuine reason for doing so. And if tenants have to move through no fault of their own, they should by rights get some compensation.

Scotland has recently legislated to ensure that anyone taking out a new private tenancy has similar rights to those already enjoyed by tenants in many other countries around the world. We can do this in Wales too.

We’ve made good progress on improving the private rented sector but there’s so much more to do. Private tenants deserve to call a house a home and put down roots. If you agree, visit www.sheltercymru.org.uk, sign the petition, and add your voice to the call for secure tenancies.

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