Thanks to your input, with a following of over 20,000 Facebook fans and a growing membership on the Tenants’ Voice website, we are becoming the biggest UK tenant support community and thankfully we’ve been able to give advice and support on many tenant issues to hundreds of people. In 2014 we aim to do more.
As we move out of 2013 we reflect on the past year which has seen many concerns raised by not only our readers but the national press too.
Rent arrears increased by 13 per cent
Despite growing confidence in the UK’s economic recovery, social housing rent arrears cases reported to Citizens Advice from July to September this year increased by 13 per cent since the same period last year. The Coalition Government’s introduction of “bedroom tax” has been one of the most criticised welfare reforms, hitting the most vulnerable in society the hardest. Welfare cuts also have sparked a dramatic increase in the number of eviction notices issued by landlords,
Government policies making life difficult for landlords
The Government are making things more difficult for landlords too, by looking to introduce a new Immigration Bill, which will make landlords legally responsible for checking whether any tenants they take on have a right to the live in the UK.
Help to Buy Scheme
But there has been good news too. The introduction of the Government’s Help To Buy Scheme means that equity loans are open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes worth up to £600,000. Even though you’ll need to contribute at least 5% of the property price as a deposit, the government will give you a loan for up to 20% of the price.
Free replacement boilers
In addition, as part of the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO), if you receive a qualifying benefit and your boiler is 10+ years old, UK energy companies are obliged to pay for a free replacement boiler to be installed in your home.
Whatever 2014 brings The Tenants’ Voice is committed to providing free and relevant advice to tenants in need of help and guidance. We will continue to build up partnerships with the best letting agents and service providers in the UK to bring you the most up to date news and tips and look forward to your contributions. We rely on our readers to highlight problems, concerns and disputes so do remember to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or open a discussion on our website by registering at http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/user/log-in/?start_diss=true
Join The Tenants’ Voice
And it would be great if all our Facebook friends could register as members of the Tenants’ Voice website so that others can learn from your experiences and share knowledge on our dedicated forums.
All the best for 2014!