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Responding to the Harassment and Abuse of Older People in the Private Rented Sector: Legal and Social Perspectives

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Independent living, and hence active ageing, is seen by some governments as being supported through enabling and encouraging older people to live in mainstream housing. However, this emphasis upon 'staying put' and 'ageing in place' needs to recognise the major housing difficulties that are faced by some older people.

This paper presents findings from an exploratory study, funded by Help the Aged, of the harassment and abuse of older people within the private rented sector. Examples of the wide range of arguments, disputes and conflicts with landlords and other residents will be provided. The second half of the paper considers the legal remedies that might be available for tackling some of these problems and the present obstacles to their use. Finally, legal remedies will be compared with more social policy based approaches which draw upon the framework relating to the protection of vulnerable adults.
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Keywords: Abuse; Harassment; Housing; Older People; Private Rented Sector; Vulnerable Adults

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of the West of England Bristol

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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