Threshold prevented almost 2000 adults and children from entering homelessness in the last quarter of 2021 –16% increase on 2020
Charity responds to over 11,000 calls to their helpline during the same period
January 31, 2022: Threshold, the national housing charity, prevented 905 households entering homelessness during the final months of 2021, which included 1,250 adults and 735 children.
Queries relating to security tenure remain the dominant type of queries Threshold received from private renters in this quarter. These include queries about the validity of a notice of termination and what rights the private renter has when it comes to ending the tenancy. Almost 1,800 renters contacted Threshold in Q4 with enquiries about the security of their tenure.
Threshold CEO, John Mark McCafferty, said that given the high number of landlords issuing notices for the purposes of sale, there can be no delay in taking action to retain landlords in the rental sector.
“Threshold believes the taxation system has a role to play in retaining small-scale landlords in the private rental sector to protect the current private rental stock. We can see from reports in the last few weeks and months, that landlords continue to leave the market and that looks likely to continue in 2022 – unless action is taken to address this.”
Standards & Repairs
Between Q3 and Q4 2021, there was a 30% increase in the number of private renters seeking assistance with poor standards or outstanding repairs in the home. The number of cases has increased beyond pre-pandemic levels, which may be driven by delays in repairs being made during the most severe public health restrictions in 2020 and early 2021.
Problems with damp and mould accounted for just over a third of these queries, while other issues included poor heating and structural deficiencies. Threshold continues to call for an NCT for housing to ensure private rental properties meet the minimum standards so that private renters are living in homes that are safe, healthy and comfortable.
Wider trends in 2021
In addition, the number of private renters seeking advice on their rights and how a tenancy can be ended remained high in 2021, on a similar level to queries received in 2020. This indicates the ongoing and heightened precarity experienced by private renters on foot of the pandemic, according to McCafferty.
“Threshold advisors found 53% of the rent reviews brought to them by private renters were invalid. This has been a trend throughout 2021 and highlights how important it is for private renters to contact Threshold when they receive a rent review to check its validity.
This also reinforces Threshold’s call for a dwelling specific rent register, to allow renters verify that the rent increase is lawful,” he said.