Northern Ireland tenants tell of deep dissatisfaction with landlords

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SOCIAL housing tenants in Northern Ireland were the second most dissatisfied in a new survey which expressed deep disquiet about how people who rent are treated by their landlords.

Only 26% of those surveyed in Northern Ireland were satisfied their landlord listens to them and acts on their views.

Most social housing tenants do not believe their landlords listen to them or care about them, the survey also found.

Responses from 61,000 tenants across the UK found only a third – 32% – are satisfied that their landlord ‘listens to them and acts upon their views’. Only 22% feel their landlord ‘cares about them and their family’.

More than half of the survey respondents would not recommend their landlord to a friend or relative, the survey published yesterday found.

As the government continues the roll-out of universal credit, 42% of those receiving full housing benefit said they were ‘highly anxious’ about having their rent paid directly to them under the new regime.

More than a third said direct payments will make it difficult for them to budget.

Londoners were the most dissatisfied tenants responding to the survey: only 17% said they feel their landlords care about them and their family, compared with a national average of 22%.

Just a quarter – 24% – of Londoners said they were satisfied their landlord listens to them and acts on their views compared to a national average of 32%.

Richard Blundell, chief executive of Housing Partners, which conducted the survey, said: ‘The survey also provides vital information that can help landlords avoid the business risks presented with tenants falling into arrears.’

Tenants who filled in the survey are renting with 1,422 different social housing landlords in Northern Ireland England, Wales and Scotland.

The full survey can be seen at http://bigtenantsurvey.housingpartners.co.uk/Download/Housing%20Partners%20Big%20Tenant%20Survey%202014%20Summary%20Report%20Final.pdf

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