Nearly three in ten (28%) private tenants over the age of 55 are living in fear of being evicted by their landlord, new research from Shelter reveals.

The housing charity’s research, conducted by YouGov and funded by The Co-operative Bank, shines a light on the struggle older renters face in keeping a roof over their heads.

According to the findings, in England a no-fault eviction notice drops through the letterbox of an older renters every 16 minutes.

Overall, 400,000 private tenants over the age of 55 say they are scared they will be kicked out of their homes.

People who receive Section 21 notices have only two months to move out and their landlords do not have to give a reason for evicting them.

However, a third of all private renters (34%) say it took them longer than two months to find a new privately rented home the last time they moved.

Now that Parliament is back from its summer break, Shelter is urging the government to scrap no-fault evictions and protect at-risk renters from the threat of Section 21.

Shelter warns delays to the Renters (Reform) Bill are harming the health of thousands of older tenants.

Research from Shelter and The Co-operative Bank found that a quarter (25%) of renters aged over 55 say worrying about eviction is impacting their mental or physical health.

Meanwhile one in four (24%) said housing problems or worries had made them feel physically sick in the past year.

Nearly one fifth (19%) of adult private renters in England are over 55 – up by 31% in the past decade.

Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate says: “Older renters may already be retired or planning for retirement at this point in their lives.

“They shouldn’t have knots in their stomachs, constantly afraid that their landlord is going to kick them out of their home for no reason.

“We hear from hundreds of over-55s who have worked for decades in search of safety and security later in life.

“It’s a disgrace that so many are being stripped of a stable home by the gross injustice of Section 21 no-fault evictions.

“Instead of forcing older renters to pay over the odds for often shoddy rentals that leave them sick with worry, the government must keep its word, and get the Renters (Reform) Bill over the line.”

The Co-operative Bank chief executive Nick Slape adds: “We know the private rented system in this country needs urgent reform and this new research shows just how desperate the situation has become.

“Together with our partner Shelter we are calling on the government to prioritise the Renters (Reform) Bill now, to protect tenants across the country and deliver lasting change.”

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