Failure to carry out repairs puts renters' health at risk, says Shelter

By agency reporter
May 15, 2013

One in nine renters says their health has been affected by their landlord’s failure to carry out repairs or deal with poor conditions in their home, new Shelter research has revealed.

The research conducted with over 4,000 private renters – the largest study of its kind – also found that 10 per cent of renting parents said this had affected their children’s health.

The charity says that a minority of rogue landlords who are failing to meet their responsibilities are putting renters and their families at risk.

The research found that:

- Over a third (35 per cent) of renting families have a problem with damp in their homes
- Nearly one in five (17 per cent) have a leaky roof or windows
- One in 11 (nine percent) are living in a home with electrical hazards.

Figures from the English Housing Survey also show that more than a third (35 per cent) of privately rented homes fail the government’s Decent Homes Standard.

Figures obtained by Shelter under the Freedom of Information Act also show that almost one in six councils across England said that the behaviour or neglect of private landlords had required the involvement of health services.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: "We hear from parents up and down the country who are living with the terrible knowledge that damp or an electrical hazard could pose serious health risks to their child, but are powerless to do anything about it as their landlords ignore their complaints.

"This has to stop. The nine million renters in this country deserve better."

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