Over 300,000 properties rented by under 35s in England are so squalid that they are likely to cause serious harm, putting nearly 500,000 tenants in danger.
Rats, broken locks, exposed wiring and leaking roofs are just some of the hazards encountered amidst the continuously worsening housing shortage and rising rents, which have increased by 15% in the last 7 years.
Tenants are paying private landlords up to £1,100 per month for housing that includes holes in external walls, insect infested beds and mould covered kitchens. A 30 year old mother from Bristol revealed that her child’s cot rotted as a result of the mould in her home. A 34 year old from Luton described how her home was infested with cockroaches.
Government figures reveal that 2.4million people live in rented homes with category 1 hazards in England. The worst areas are East and West Midlands where the housing market is dominated by Victorian houses, 250,000 rentals suffer from category 1 hazards which include dangerous or broken boilers, vermin, exposed wiring, lack of heating and broken staircases.
According to housing charity Shelter, 48% of people who have reported issues in their homes say they have been either ignored or told they would receive no help.
The Government has backed a private member’s bill going through Parliament that would allow tenants to take direct legal action against rogue landlords rather than relying on Local Authorities as is currently the case.
Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing, John Healey MP, said;
“Too many people are forced to put up with downright dangerous housing. After the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it’s even more important that ministers back Labour’s plan to make all homes fit for human habitation.”
Sajid Javid, the Housing Secretary, said he was determined ‘to do everything possible to protect tenants’ and pledged Government support for new legislation that requires all landlords ensure their properties are safe and hazard free and allows tenants to take legal action if their landlords fail in their duties.
Duncan Lewis Housing Solicitors
If you are living in a property with substandard or inadequate conditions Duncan Lewis Housing Solicitors can help. Duncan Lewis Housing Solicitors can guide clients in any matter or issues arising with local housing authorities, housing applications, tenants, landlords, ownership and repairs. The Duncan Lewis housing team specialises in representation in all social housing proceedings including reviews, appeals and judicial review relating to homelessness, disrepair, succession for tenants and neighbourhood disputes against local authorities. If you have any housing related queries or require representation please do not hesitate to contact our team of expert solicitors on 0333 772 0409.
Manjinder Kaur Atwal is a Housing Director at Duncan Lewis Solicitors and can advise on disrepair matters and all other housing issues. For expert housing advice, contact Manjinder on 02031141269 or email her at email@example.com.