Around one in four landlords are not providing their tenants with written tenancy agreements, reveals a study by flat sharing website, EasyRoommate.
This revelation arrives just days before new legislation is enforced, which will make it difficult for landlords and letting agents to evict renters without first complying with specific regulations.
From Thursday 1st October, a valid section 21 notice can only be served if the tenant has been provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a gas safety certificate and a copy of the most recent version of the How to Rent booklet.
However, according to the EasyRoommate survey, many landlords do not provide the very basic paperwork required, with 25% of tenants stating that their landlord did not offer them a written rental contract.
The study also found that 25% of renters said that their landlords did not always make urgent repairs on issues such as plumbing, central heating, electrics and roof leaks.
An EasyRoommate statement reads: “For landlords who do not uphold their responsibilities, the time for change is now.
“The Government is determined to crack down on rogue landlords and drive them out of business. Among the measures that have been introduced by the Government, such as protecting tenants against retaliation eviction serving under section 21, rogue landlords will be heavily fined for housing offences, such as:
- “Providing a local authority with false or misleading information following a statutory enquiry.
- “Permitting or causing overcrowding.
- “Illegally evicting or harassing a residential occupier.
- “Continuing to let to an illegal immigrant.
- “Any offence under the Housing Act 2004.”1
Chief Executive of EasyRoommate, Karim Goudiaby, says: “We believe that flat sharing can be a wonderful experience, given the right conditions.
“Because we don’t want to leave to chance, we have a dedicated moderation team working around the clock to ensure the advertised flats are in decent living conditions.
“Rogue landlords are far from being the majority, but, once in a while we see landlords trying to fit 20 tenants in a four-bedroom flat, or advertising packed rooms looking more like a fire hazard than a home.
“That’s why no listing is published on the site before it has been reviewed by the moderating team. We look at the description, pictures, rent price… anything that can give us an indication of the living conditions.”1
The research also revealed that around 20% of renters are still not offered deposit protection.