Care home providers have been warned that evicting residents because their family members have made complaints could be illegal.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is examining the scale of the problem as part of an ongoing investigation into the sector following its release of a major report in November (see BREAKING NEWS: CMA finds £1bn care funding shortfall).
A spokesman told the Sunday Telegraph: “We have heard serious concerns that some care homes may be unfairly evicting residents or banning visitors as a punishment for making a complaint.
“No one should face eviction for simply complaining. It is essential that people feel safe enough to complain when they have a grievance, without the threat of eviction or a ban.
“That’s why we have already urged the Government and sector regulators to strengthen current protections, as well as taking steps ourselves to ensure all care homes understand and comply with their obligations under consumer law.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Residents in care homes and their families rightly expect the highest standards of care and it is completely unacceptable for anyone to be forced to leave unfairly.
“We are considering the findings of the CMA report carefully to ensure instances like these are dealt with.”
A spokesperson for the CQC said it had begun to collect and monitor information from providers on how many people have been served notice on to leave a particular care home service in the past 12 months.
CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: “Care homes are people’s homes. They, their family and friends should not live in fear of being penalised for raising concerns.”