Posts with tag: Shelter

Over a Quarter Worry about Rent or Mortgage Arrears in 2016

Published On: January 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm


Categories: Finance News

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More than a quarter of Britons worry that they will fall into rent or mortgage arrears in 2016, according to the latest survey by Shelter.

The study, commissioned by Shelter and undertaken by YouGov, found that 29% are concerned about being able to pay their rent or mortgage payments at some point over the year.

Over a Quarter Worry about Rent or Mortgage Arrears in 2016

Over a Quarter Worry about Rent or Mortgage Arrears in 2016

Homeowners with a mortgage are awaiting the Bank of England’s interest rate increase, which is likely to change over the next couple of years. The base rate is currently at 0.5% – a record low – where it has been since 2009, in order to keep credit cheap and money flowing into the economy while it heals from the financial crisis.

Now that the economy is recovering, policy makers wish to gradually raise interest rates to more ordinary levels.

Meanwhile, tenants have experienced sharp increases in housing costs. The average rent price in England rose by 5.26% between 2011-15 – well ahead of wage growth over the same period.

In London, where the housing crisis is severe, the average rent rose by 25.58% during that period.

The pressures of high rent prices have been exacerbated by real-terms wage declines for several years and welfare cuts.

Shelter’s survey also reveals that one in three Brits fear a relationship breakdown would leave them homeless – this is equivalent to 4.9m people.

Government data for the three months to September 2015 shows that there were 2,410 new cases of homelessness caused by a relationship breakdown in England, or 17% of the total cases.

Shelter’s helpline adviser, Nadeem Khan, comments: “A break up can happen for any number of reasons, but it’s always an incredibly stressful and upsetting time, without the added fear of becoming homeless as well.

“Speaking to Shelter’s expert advisers early can make a world of difference when it comes to finding or keeping a home. Every day we help people who are coming to terms with a relationship breakdown find somewhere new to live or figure out how they can afford their home alone.

“Sadly, people too often feel like they have to go through this ordeal on their own, but Shelter is here to help 365 days a year, and we’re only ever a click or call away at or on 0808 800 4444.”1 

If you are a landlord, be aware of any changes to your tenant’s circumstances, and remember that rent guarantee insurance is the best way to ensure peace of mind if your tenant falls into rent arrears. 


Housing Costs Causing Families to Suffer Through Winter, Warns Shelter

Published On: January 4, 2016 at 3:18 pm


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

High housing costs in England are causing many families to cut back on heating and winter clothing to ensure they meet mortgage and rent payments, according to homelessness charity Shelter.

Over a quarter (27%) of parents of under-18s surveyed reported that they had to cut winter spending to meet their housing costs.

Housing Costs Causing Families to Suffer Through Winter, Warns Shelter

Housing Costs Causing Families to Suffer Through Winter, Warns Shelter

Additionally, 10% feared that they would be unable to pay rents or mortgages in January.

The Government insists that its measures to tackle the deficit are helping more people stay in their homes.

A lack of affordable homes has left families struggling with extortionate housing costs, says Shelter. Last year alone, more than 100,000 people called Shelter’s helpline for housing debt advice.

Households struggling with housing costs are advised to:

  • Seek advice as soon as possible, to avoid eviction.
  • Prioritise mortgage or rent payments before credit card or payday loan debts.
  • Seek help from mortgage lenders as early as possible.
  • Seek help with rent arrears and look into housing benefit.
  • Respond promptly to calls and letters and keep notes of conversations.

Michelle is a mother from Cambridge. Her husband Kevin is a builder who became self-employed last year. He is now paid weekly and Michelle explains the difficulties: “We cut back on everything to pay the rent, including food.”

The family is now in rent arrears to a private landlord and is behind on Council Tax. They fear that another missed payment could put them at risk of eviction.

Of the 853 parents studied, 15% said they had to cut back on Christmas presents and food.

Michelle, a student midwife, continues: “Even though my husband works as many hours as he can, it’s constantly hand-to-mouth. When the children are at school, the heating isn’t on at all, and over Christmas we had to cut back on presents and clothing.”1

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government comments: “The reality is mortgage repossession claims continue to fall and are their lowest since 1987.

“This is thanks to our work to tackle the deficit and keep interest rates low, helping more families to stay in their hard-earned homes.

“We’ve introduced measures to ensure tenants get a fair deal and are aware of their rights. We’ve also doubled the housing budget to deliver over 400,000 affordable homes and the number of new homes is up 25% in the last year.”1

YouGov conducted the survey of a representative and weighted sample of adults late last year.



It’ll be Lonely This Christmas

Published On: December 22, 2015 at 12:43 pm


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

It'll be Lonely This Christmas

It’ll be Lonely This Christmas

This year saw a rise of 45% in the amount of families with children living in emergency housing – the highest level for 12 years. With the housing crisis taking a hold on the country, many will be homeless this Christmas.

Housing charities are sharing their appeals for help this year, as the lack of property supply and rising house prices push more and more people out of their homes.

Can you help?

Crisis is asking you to Reserve a Place this festive season, with donations of £22.29 enough to welcome a homeless person into a Crisis centre, three nutritious hot meals for them – including Christmas dinner – and the opportunity to shower, a change of clothes, a haircut and a health check. Those seeking help will also be given expert advice on life-changing issues, such as housing and employment, and be informed of Crisis’ year-round services.

Find out more and donate here:

Shelter has found that more than 100,000 children will be homeless this Christmas, but you can help them wake up in their own bed. Just £30 will provide cooking facilities for healthy family meals, while £60 will help the charity offer practical support and make sure no one faces homelessness alone. £80 could also help Shelter’s lawyers provide free, expert advice to avoid families losing their home.

Give to these families here:

Spread the love 

Costa Coffee has also joined in on tackling homelessness, with its Swansea Oxford Street store opening especially on Christmas Day to give out free coffee, food and presents to homeless people in the city. Eight of the chain’s staff have volunteered for the event and NHS nurses will be on hand offering aid and support.

Why don’t you give the gift of giving this year and help the many people that won’t wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning?

Thousands of tenants in England suffer abuse

Published On: September 2, 2015 at 11:56 am


Categories: Landlord News

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An extremely concerning report from housing charity Shelter has revealed that thousands of tenants in the private rental sector have suffered abuse from their landlords.

The types of abuse ranged from harassment, assault and both physical and verbal abuse, all of which could have resulted in legal action.


Shelter suggests that 17,000 renters have called its helpline in order to lodge complaints regarding abuse. Worryingly, the charity said the cases included people saying landlords had cut off their utilities, entered their property unannounced and even burned their possessions.

Other common disputes recorded included issues over deposits and terms of an agreement.

More cause for concern comes with the charity’s prediction that many more tenants may be suffering at the hands of rogue landlords. On the results of a survey of 3,800 respondents, Shelter feel that 125,000 within England had experienced abuse, with many more in receipt of abuse strong enough to result of legal proceedings.[1]

Hurled Stones’

The charity highlighted the case of one particular tenant who had moved into a rental property in London, only to discover problems.

‘There was damp in the bedroom-black walls basically,’ said the tenant. ‘There was a leaking roof that went on for months and we had no gas safety certificate,’ he added.[1]

Having drawn up a list of 18 issues with the property, the tenant approached the landlord again. However, the landlord not only refused to fix the problems but also started to enter the property without permission. ‘Then one day he became really aggressive and hurled some stones at me,’ the student claimed.[1]

Another tenant said that his landlord served him an eviction order just five days before Christmas, before sending him abusive text messages. When the tenant and his partner did move out, the landlord demanded a further month’s rent.

Thousands of tenants in England suffer abuse

Thousands of tenants in England suffer abuse

Renter rights

With many young professionals and families being priced out of the housing market, it is thought that one in five households in England is privately rented. Experts predict that this number will rise in the coming decade.

Shelter helpline advisor, Mark Cook said that the charity spoke to people daily who had experienced difficulty with rogue landlords. ‘Some of their experiences are truly awful-from renters who have been illegally evicted and had their belongings burned, to those who have had their utilities cut off because their landlord wants to intimidate them,’ Cook said.[1]

‘No one should have to put up with a landlord who breaks the law and it is so important to know your rights as a renter,’ he concluded.[1]



Parents fear for youngsters without own home

Published On: May 5, 2015 at 5:20 pm


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,

A growing number of parents in Britain believe that the only way that their offspring are to afford their own property is through inheritance.

Parents believe that extortionate house prices and a crippling lack of affordable housing are leaving a number of young people priced out of the market, according to a new survey from housing charity group Shelter.


Latest government figures suggest that home ownership levels for young adults have dipped dramatically during the last decade. The survey from Shelter indicated that one in six 25-34 year olds who had been successful in purchasing a home relied on inheritance money to do so. Additionally, almost one third said that they had been given money for a deposit as a gift.[1]

Parents fear for youngsters without own home

Parents fear for youngsters without own home

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, believes that it is a, ‘tragic consequence of our housing shortage that, even when they are working hard and saving what they can, a generation of young adults have no choice but to rely on the prospect of inheritance to have any hope of buying their first home.[2]

Future commitment

Mr Robb feels that the combined failure of a number of governments to plan and implement the building of secure, affordable housing has led to many youngsters facing an uncertain future. He feels that, ‘politicians should give back hope to the priced out generation by making a real and lasting commitment to building the affordable homes we desperately need.’[3]