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Rogue Landlords on the Rise as Rental Market Grows

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Rogue Landlords on the Rise as Rental Market Grows

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The booming buy-to-let market is leaving more North East house tenants than ever before at risk of rogue landlords’ underhand tactics, says the chief executive of a specialist telephone advice line.

Shortfalls in affordable housing, particularly in rural areas, and the challenges associated in securing a mortgage in the current market are forcing prospective buyers to reconsider owning their own property.

Liz Chadwick, Chief Executive of DAWN Advice – which offers free and independent advice on housing issues through the DAWN Citizens Advice Bureau in Morpeth – said that the private rental market is reaching a new high as more people are unable to secure the money needed to buy, adding that the new buoyant market could see a rise in unscrupulous landlords looking to take advantage.

She has warned new tenants to make sure they are fully up to speed with their rights before signing on the dotted line – or run the risk of being seen as an easy target for rogue landlords looking to cash in.

Chadwick said: “Difficulties in obtaining a mortgage and a lack of affordable homes is preventing people living in our region from buying, as a result more and more are deciding to rent. Over the past five years we’ve seen a 40 per cent rise in the number of people living in rented property, taking the UK figure to 3.4million people.

“As competition for rented accommodation continues to grow we could potentially see an increase in rogue landlords looking to cut corners and cash in on the situation so it is vital that tenants are fully aware of both their rights and their responsibilities – and have an appropriate tenancy agreement in place.

“Government figures show that in the past 10 years, the UK has seen over seven million people suffer issues with their landlords, with many too worried to do anything in fear of the possible consequences.

“People must have the right to feel safe in their home and they should never suffer in silence if their landlord is shirking their responsibilities, for example failing to carry out adequate repairs, not providing notice if they require entry to the property, or incorrectly following procedures if they want their tenants to leave.

“As well as being fully aware of their rights, tenants also have their own responsibilities that they must follow such as taking good care of the property, avoiding any antisocial behaviour and keeping up-to-date with the rent.

“Most issues can usually be resolved with relative ease if the right approach is taken but in all cases it helps to be fully equipped with the right information.

“However, help is always at hand and anyone concerned about falling behind with their rent or struggling with their landlord should seek impartial help as soon as possible.”

Established in 1998, DAWN Advice is a social enterprise and a member of the UK’s largest network of free, advice-providing organisations, adviceUK and is a member of the National Association of Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

The social enterprise offers free, confidential and independent advice to people across the region and nationally on issues relating to housing, debt, employment, welfare benefits and family law. It also manages the operation of the DAWN Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Morpeth.

For free and independent advice on matters relating to housing issues people should contact Citizens Advice for help.

From: http://morpeth.journallive.co.uk/2011/08/rogue-landlords-on-the-rise-as.html

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