Vulnerable adults in the privately rented sector in England: a snapshot of current practice issues

Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Helen Gleeson, Rahaman Mohammed

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In the UK, in common with many developed countries, there is a crisis in the provision of adequate, affordable and quality housing. This paper discusses how an unprecedented rise in the privately rented housing sector has impacted on housing security for vulnerable adults and the challenges for social work emerging from this situation (The core definition of ‘vulnerable adult’ from the 1997 Consultation ‘Who Decides?’ issued by the Lord Chancellor’s Department, is a person: ‘Who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’. This definition of an adult covers all people over 18 years of age.). We report on a scoping review of the relevant literature and a subsequent online survey of practitioner’s views on the challenges and possible solutions to this issue. Together these provide a snapshot of practice issues and concerns which can be used to promote further debate and help shape recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages19
JournalPractice: Social Work in Action
Issue number2
Early online date5 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • social work
  • social care
  • privately rented housing (PRS)
  • vulnerable adults
  • housing insecurity

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