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‘Remove A Tenant’ eviction company compares UK renters to vermin – The Independent

An eviction company has caused outrage after an advert highlighting its services compared people renting homes to vermin.

The marketing campaign by the firm Remove a Tenant, which targets residential property owners, features a piece of cheese below the caption: “Are your tenants pests?”

They offer packages to landlords and agents across Britain for as little as £50 and claim to have “significant expertise” in dealing with housing benefits claims.

Campaigners for renters complained that the company’s advert on Facebook was “beyond unacceptable” and should be taken down immediately.

They added that likening tenants to rodents was a “grim irony” given that one-in-nine rented homes has a pest problem.

The dispute came as a record number of renters have been evicted from their homes in Britain, with more than 40,000 thrown out in 2015, the latest figures show.

The website for Remove a Tenant, which is based in Hampton-in-Arden in Solihull in the West Midlands, states: “It is often said that the law regarding tenant eviction is always on the side of the tenant.

“This is true to a degree and forms part of the protection against eviction. Tenants, regardless of circumstances, do have rights and this is why the steps taken have to be carried out correctly in order to get a successful possession.”

Housing campaigners said the company’s advert on Facebook that compares renters to “pests” should be taken down immediately.

John Bibby, policy officer at the housing and homelessness charity Shelter, told the Observer: “It’s beyond unacceptable to see tenants being compared to rodents, and an especially grim irony when nearly one in nine private rented homes has recently had a pest problem.

“We’re amazed this advert was posted in the first place, and it should be taken down immediately. Between shelling out for colossal rents, being forced to live in flats crawling with mice or rats, and having the threat of eviction hanging over them, many renters have enough to deal with without this sort of rubbish.”

Seb Klier, campaigns manager at Generation Rent, the operating name of the National Private Tenants Organisation, said comparing tenants to vermin gave an insight into the way renters are viewed by some landlords and agents.

 

“When trying to find a home, it’s common for renters to encounter a long list of prohibitions – no benefits claimants, no families, no pets – which not only reduces their choice on the market, but creates a negative atmosphere before anyone even moves in,” he said.

“This negativity increases in a market where a tenant who makes requests for repairs, or attempts to negotiate down proposed rent increases, is too often seen as a nuisance to be got rid of.

“If we are serious about having a long-term, professional, private rented sector in the UK, it’s vital that tenants can treat where they are living as their actual home, and not just be viewed as a temporary inconvenience to the owner of the property.”

An employee at Remove a Tenant said that the adverts had been designed by a marketing company some time ago and that it had not received any complaints about them.

It came as statistics last month revealed that a record number of renters are being evicted from their homes, with more than 100 tenants a day losing the roof over their head.

The spiralling cost of renting a property and a long-running freeze on housing benefit are being blamed for the rising number of evictions among Britain’s growing army of tenants.

‘Remove A Tenant’ eviction company compares UK renters to vermin – The Independent

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