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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Landlords Evict to Dodge Repairs, Claims Citizens Advice

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It's a classic game of 'He Said, She Said' in the property world, as Citizens Advice spokesperson, Kirsty Rowlinson, accuses private landlords of serving Section 21 notices to avoid carrying out repairs.

Speaking at a recent Southampton council meeting, Rowlinson painted a picture of cunning landlords using the quicker legal process of eviction to sidestep the slower-moving repair court cases.

According to Rowlinson, this tactic is not a rare occurrence, with the charity witnessing a significant number of these so-called 'retaliatory evictions' in Southampton. She claims that a staggering 45% of the 2,200 housing issues reported to the charity in the city in 2023 were related to the private rental sector.

But the accusations don't stop there. Rowlinson also suggests that landlords are increasing rents beyond what tenants can afford, moving into properties themselves, or selling off properties they can't afford to keep.

Last year, Citizens Advice nationally criticised the Renters Reform Bill, arguing that it still allowed for 'backdoor evictions'. The charity also expressed concerns about landlords using excessive rent increases to force tenants out, with 1.8 million households in 2022 either experiencing or being threatened with a rent increase.

In response to these issues, Citizens Advice is calling for new tenants to be protected from eviction for two years, rather than the current six months. Whether these allegations are widespread or isolated incidents remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure - the debate between landlords and tenants continues to heat up.

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