University of York Leads Study on Criminal Landlords

It has revealed that criminal landlords and letting agents subject tenants to illegal eviction and unfair exploitation, in a study led by the University of York.

The study revealed that of the 259 cases of landlord criminality pursued by Safer Renting on behalf of the tenants, 40% of tenants were BAME and 47% were single people living in house shares. 

This research has been conducted with Safer Renting, and was released in a new report on the UK’s private rented sector.

Researchers interviewed tenants subjected to landlord criminality, highlighting experiences such as personal insecurity, feeling unprotected by statutory authorities, and having the police side with the landlord.

In the context of the pandemic and the role of substandard housing in public health and demographic inequalities in the UK, this information raises key concerns for student tenants.

A study by Natwest revealed that only a third of students living away from home were offered a rent break or reduction as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. York was included in this study, with 38% of students in York being offered a rent break.

Among those taking a leading role in research was Dr Julie Rigg from University of York’s Centre of Housing Policy. The full report, titled ‘Safer Renting: Journeys in the Shadow Private Rented Sector’ will be published on September 2nd.