New Survey Reckons PRS Properties Are In Such A Poor
State They Affect Tenants Health
According to a newspaper report published in The Independent last week, around 10% of private rental sector tenants have suffered ill health in the last 12 months because they feel that rogue landlords had failed to deal with poor conditions in their rental properties.
Housing and homelessness charity Shelter and British Gas commissioned a survey of 4,500 private rented sector tenants and reckon that poor living conditions are commonplace for tenant families in the UK’s private rented sector.
Around 50% of the tenants surveyed said they had lived in a rental property with damp or mould in the past year, and 20% of tenants said their rented home has electrical hazards, while 17% of tenants reported living with pest infestations including mice, ants and cockroaches.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said “No family should have to live in a home that puts their health and well-being at risk, let alone face eviction just for asking their landlord to fix a problem. Yet every day, we hear from parents up and down the country living in fear that damp or gas and electrical hazards are putting their children in danger, but feeling powerless to do anything about it. With a bill to end revenge evictions going through parliament next month, we now have a real chance to change the law and protect renting families. We’re calling on people across the country to email their MPs and ask them to vote to end this unfair practice once and for all.”
Have Shelter got their facts wrong?All properties will suffer with some problem or another at some point during their lifetime, however, damp and mould are not necessarily inherent to the property and there are aspects that could be put down to the lifestyle of the tenants.
Often tenants report that they have damp in a rented property without realising that they are the cause. Damp spots around windows, behind furniture and black spots appearing in the corners of a room are caused by insufficient ventilation, so the tenant should air the room more often and stop drying clothes on radiators.
It is wrong of Shelter to try to pin the blame on rogue landlords, what would these tenants say if they actually owned the property? Its safe to say that the reported issues would be less serious if they were forced to deal with it rather than expecting the landlord to foot the bill every time. The minority of accidental landlords are unaware that they are breaking any laws and professional landlords know better than to attempt to usurp legislation.
Shelter should stop trying to run landlords down all the time, most of us are trying to operate our businesses within the confines of the law and already have enough detractors slating our profession without charities jumping on the bandwagon because they think they can get publicity from it.
Why doesn’t Mr Robb try becoming a landlord, just for 12 months, I guarantee his views would soften and he would realise that not everything is the landlords fault and that some blame must be apportioned to the tenants and their lifestyle choices rather than trying to blame everything on us landlords.
The majority of landlords would be horrified if they asked tenants to put up with a poor standard of rental accommodation so why generalise and try to tar all landlords with the same brush?
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