Study shows that people living in rented accommodation are twice as likely to experience some kinds of non-housing-related legal problems as those living in other types of housing.
The Legal Education Foundation has funded a study comparing the legal difficulties experienced by people living in rented accommodation with those who live in their own homes or rent free.
Key Findings include:
- The latest figures show that over a third of all households in England and Wales were rented, which makes the ability of renters to resolve housing-related legal problems a major issue for society.
- Few renters realised that their housing difficulty was a legal problem, nearly half (47 per cent) put it down to bad luck.
- The renters most likely to experience housing-related legal problems are the young, single parents, and unmarried couples with children.
- Legal problems with rented housing take a long time to resolve: half lasted more than a year; a quarter were still unresolved after two years.
- Renters are more likely than those living in other types of accommodation to have higher levels of non-housing-related legal problems – such as with domestic violence, divorce, welfare benefits and personal injury.
- Those renting privately (rather than in the public sector) were the most likely to have non-housing-related legal problems; the least likely were those who owned their homes outright.
These findings are drawn from a larger study funded by the Foundation entitled ‘How People Understand and Interact with the Law’. ‘How People Understand and Interact with the Law’ reports on the findings of a national survey that explored public understanding of the law across a range of civil law problems. Both the full report and a summary Research Insights document are available to download.