Welwyn Hatfield tops tenant complaint figures for east of England

File photo dated 08/02/17 of a row of To Let estate agent signs placed outside houses. Tenants are s

Welwyn Hatfield saw 103 complaints from tenants between 2016 and 2021. - Credit: PA

Welwyn Hatfield has seen more tenant complaints than anywhere else in the east of England over the past five years, new figures have revealed.

Following an FOI request by Online Mortgage Advisor to the Housing Ombudsman, it has been revealed that Welwyn Hatfield saw 103 complaints from tenants between 2016 and 2021, more than anywhere else in the region.

The borough was closely followed by East Hertfordshire which saw 102 complaints, while Hertsmere was ranked eighth with 70.

In a statement, a spokesman for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council said: “We take our responsibility to protect private tenants very seriously and these figures show that people in Welwyn Hatfield know they can turn to us when their landlords let them down.

“In the last six months we’ve secured a banning order, successfully prosecuted a landlord for serious breaches, and resolved multiple legal disputes through what are known as first-tier tribunals – proof that we will take action when appropriate.

“Our advice to anyone renting in Welwyn Hatfield is to look for a PAL-accredited landlord. It’s an easy way to find out if they are committed to treating their tenants fairly.

“You can find out more about the PAL scheme, developed by us in partnership with the university, at www.pal-online.org.uk.

“Because of the work we do to raise awareness of these issues, and our longstanding commitment to the PAL scheme and other help available, we certainly don’t believe private landlords or properties are worse in Welwyn Hatfield than other parts of the region.

“And if you do have an issue you can’t resolve, contact us via www.welhat.gov.uk or call on 01707 357672.”

Hertfordshire also has more complaints than any other county in the east of England with 650, followed by Essex in second with 540 and Norfolk in third with 270.

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The most complained about issues by tenants in the east of England were property condition with 613, complaints handling with 230 and tenants' behaviour with 164.

The region ranked sixth when compared to all those across the UK, with London topping the figures with 13,917 complaints across the last five years, with the South East (3,390) and the West Midlands (2,297) in second and third.