I work in Public health and am currently working on a paper around health and housing and would be really interested in any research that has been done on the state of housing in the private rented sector. My email adress is firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Good chatting to you earlier Vicki – and you and Sue Kane should definitely get in touch to share information!
ExeTRA Private Tenant GroupParticipant
Being a private tenant in Exeter can be a mouldy old business according to a recent survey carried out by Exeter CVS for a new private tenants group called ExeTRA.The survey asked people to share their experiences of renting in Exeter and nearly half of those taking part reported living with some kind of damp and mould.
For many though, the problems start before they have even moved in to a rental property, with a quarter of respondents paying in excess of £200 in Agency fees and a further 10% paying over £400! High Agency fees and deposits mean that many renters are struggling with the cost of securing a property, often losing out because they can’t raise the fees in time. Other renters report losing out on properties due to high competition for the limited amount of affordable properties available.
Once tenants have secured a property, it can be a constant struggle to meet rising and often ‘unaffordable rent’. Unaffordable rent, which is defined as a rent that is more than 35% of net household income, is exactly what a shocking 46% of the respondents are paying here in Exeter.
One member of the ExeTRA group, Steff, knows too well what it’s like to fight for your rights as a private tenant. “When you’re experiencing issues with what’s meant to be your home it truly unsettles every aspect of your life. I really could have benefitted from the support of a group such as ExeTRA when I was going through my landlord dispute”
The ExeTRA Project Worker told us “people just don’t know where they can get support when things go wrong. Many people are putting up with poor living conditions thinking that because they are renting privately that they are on their own! ExeTRA is a hub for people to come to get support, access advice services and get information. It’s run by private tenants for private tenants who aim to make things better for renters in Exeter.”
Lately it’s getting harder to ignore the wider effects of these issues and with more than 40% of renters moving more than 3 times in the last 5 years the cracks are starting to show. From a lack of community participation and cohesion, to private tenants not being in one place long enough to bother registering to vote, these issue are affecting all Exeter residents!
ExeTRA hopes to start addressing some of these issues and if you would like to get involved or access support through ExeTRA but tell us what you think!…
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