As concerns continue over the lack of affordable housing in Britain and a worrying outlook in the rental sector, the Licensed Trade Charity has issued a reminder to pub companies about the ways it can take the pressure off their employees in this area to help boost staff retention.

With a huge private rented sector – there are now more than 9 million renters in private accommodation – and a trend of buy-to-let investors selling up with 20% of them intending to do so, a squeeze on these renters will mean many re-evaluating their employment, where they live or both. Add in that data published by the Residential Landlord Association found that almost half of private landlords plan to increase rents in 2018 and this could potentially trigger an increase in labour turnover, which People 1st already estimates costs the hospitality industry £274m annually.

Despite this instability with increasing rents and eviction a constant worry for employees, the Licensed Trade Charity is able to support pub and bar staff in both of these areas, with its free support enabling them to either stay in their accommodation or protect and advise on their rights as a tenant.

One in six landlords (16%) said they had had to take steps to remove a tenant once or more in the last three years, and in nearly 50% of cases this was due to rent arrears of more than two months. Through the Licensed Trade Charity’s free helpline, which is open 24/7, it is able to help people through such traumatic experiences, with grants (subject to eligibility) to cover rent arrears and offering legal advice on tenants’ rights. In addition, the charity’s relationship with Shelter means those who call the helpline can also access additional assistance on challenging the threat of eviction and getting repairs actioned, and those aged 55 and over who contact the Licensed Trade Charity in need of housing help can also be boosted up the waiting list of Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit housing association.

Head of Charity Services Carolyn Jenkinson said: “Our exclusive offering for pub and bar people gives anyone with housing issues help and support. We can often assist with grants for rent arrears, rents and deposits to get them started in a new home, and for things such as boiler repairs, white goods and furnishings. Just as important can be sharing our expertise on tenants’ rights, including repairs, landlord responsibilities and what to do at the end of a let. Our help is relevant to people of all ages with housing issues across the drinks trade. No other charity has access to the same range of assistance that we have created through our relationships with Shelter and Anchor.”