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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Almost half of tenants claim poor health due to condition of their home

Nearly half of tenants in the UK claim to have suffered health problems and injury as a direct result of conditions in their home.

A national representative study of UK tenants, conducted by property maintenance firm, Aspect, found that 43% of tenants - based on those 1,000 resonses from existing of previous renters - say conditions in their rented home have affected their health.

Environmental irritants, damp and mould are among the common causes of health issues for 44% of people who are currently renting, according to the research, while one in five - 19.4% - of respondents said that allergies, respiratory problems and stress among are among the most common health problems.

The study also revealed that badly maintained rental properties have the potential to cause injuries too.

Some 8% said that they have sustained cuts and scrapes from sharp edges and poorly-fitted fixtures, the same proportion said they have experienced an injury from a trip or fall caused by the condition of their home, such as from a loose-fitting carpet or a loose step.

Meanwhile, 6% have had an electric shock from a landlord-supplied appliance, 4% have experienced puncture wounds and 3% have sustained burns.

A further 4% of enters said that they had experienced a carbon monoxide related illness that they directly attribute to the condition of their home.

Most commonly reported health and injury issues in UK rental property

Problem

percentage of respondents who've experienced this

Stress/anxiety due to general condition of home

19.40%

Illness related to cold environment/poor heating

14.30%

Illness related to cold environment/poor heating

14.30%

Allergies/reactions related to environmental irritants (fleas, dust mites, bedbugs)

10.70%

Lung/respiratory problem from mould/damp

10.10%

Stress/anxiety due to vermin/pests

7.90%

Cuts and scrapes from jagged edges/poorly fitted fixtures

7.80%

Injury from property related trip hazard (loose steps, carpet)

7.60%

Interrupted sleep due to vermin/pests

7.40%

Electric shocks from faulty appliances/electrics

6%

Bacterial infection (e.g. legionnaires disease)

4.50%

Puncture wounds from jagged edges/poorly fitted fixtures

4.10%

Carbon monoxide related illness

3.80%

Burns from faulty appliances

3.30%

London had the most property-related injuries and health problems, but as a proportion of residents, Birmingham came out as the UK’s capital of poor rental health.

Cities with most property-related illness and injury

City

Percentage of residents who've experienced rental property related illness or injury

Birmingham

57.58%

Swansea

57.14%

Plymouth

56.52%

Leeds

55.00%

London

52.87%

Cities with fewest property-related illness and injury

City

Percentage of residents who've experienced rental property related illness or injury

Chelmsford

14.29%

Oxford

30.43%

Liverpool

31.43%

Manchester

31.46%

Aberdeen

33.33%

Nick Bizley, commercial director at Aspect, said: “It’s alarming but not surprising that so many UK tenants are reporting health problems directly related to the condition of their home.

“From first-hand experience, the age imbalance of those suffering ill-health and injury due to the condition of their home can be directly related to the younger age group not being confident enough to bring maintenance issues up with their landlord.

“Our tradespeople regularly see and report examples of corner-cutting on maintenance, especially where properties have been converted into homes of multiple occupancy, such as a large houses converted into flats, but also at the higher end of the property market too.”

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    I don't believe these figures. A&E would be even busier if they are anything like the figures claimed. Most problems are of the tenants' own making in not fixing minor issues and not adequately heating and ventilating properties.

  • Paul Barrett

    As a LL the last thing I would want is a degraded property for whatever reason.
    Apart from an internal redec that might be required is as much as I would expect my property to be in the same condition it was 10 years ago.
    I would have ensured this was the case.
    I have found that despite my imploring tenants to advise me of any issues so that I may attend to them they have failed to do so in some cases.
    I always advise that rent increases they WILL be subject to will not be related to any repairs or improvements I carry out as long as the repairs are NOT as a result of un- tenant like behaviour.
    I want the ability to be able to boot any tenant out and with minor works to be able to achieve top retail sale price.
    A stitch in time and all that.
    I abhor LL who refuse to keep a property in a decent condition providing a tenant has behaved correctly.
    Rogue tenants are far more responsible for the effects on themselves.
    Personally I would refuse to let a property to anyone who could not afford to heat a property.
    I decide whether a prospective tenant would be able to afford to do so.
    This means NO DSS tenant would ever make it past my selection processes.
    But any LL worth their salt must surely wish to maintain the intrinsic value of a rental property.
    It makes no economic sense to allow a property to degrade.
    The losses are eqivalent to rent default or probably far more than that.
    But from a purely altruistic perspective I would not wish any tenant of mine to live in sub-standard conditions.
    Invariably the vast majority of these conditions are caused by the tenants themselves.
    Of course what constitutes a sub-standard property is rather subjective.
    But in the interests of LL and tenants then surely working together to ensure habitable living conditions occur is something that needs to continually attended to.
    I have always attended to any issues that have been notified to me and some that I discovered myself.
    Regular inspection by a LL is something that could prevent a LL having to spend a lot more money later on if issues are identified earlier enough.
    The new housing regulations will surely concentrate LL minds on whether they wish to retain a property that is prone to mould etc if the tenants refuse to behave properly.
    In such cases a LL would do well to just get rid of such a property if it attracts tenants who WON'T behave properly.
    I believe that with the EPC regulations becoming more stringent that for those properties that will struggle to achieve EPC E status that for many LL it is worth getting rid of properties that would cost a lot to achieve EPC C status. Incurring the not inconsiderable costs to achieve EPC C status is such that is simply not worth the LL retaining such properties.
    These just happen to be the properties that are prone to the issues mentioned in the article.

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    Hi Aspect, what a load of crap, what about LL stress & anxiety caused by clown like you, how much more bull sugar can you come up with ? one time they used to blame Russia for the weather.

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    What a load of bull where there’s blame then there’s a claim

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    I built a Detached House in Ealing, West London in 1972 / 73 by my own hand & still have it. There was never an issue with mould or damp for 35yrs until a particular type of Tenant came & blackened the whole place in 6 months flat. When that Tenant vacated I redone the whole place & never a problem since either, probably 300 Tenants passed through without a problem. It’s rarely the fault of the Building, perhaps Digital Academics like Aspect could throw away their computers / lap-tops etc, and try a hammer, Saw, trowel, brace & bit, it might help housing quality, too many people making false allegations & living off our backs.

    Paul Barrett

    Ahh!
    Michael you are being far too practical.
    To the LL haters it is always the fault of the LL.
    Your example is indicative of how poorly a certain type of tenant lives.
    We all know who they are which is why we decline to take them on as tenants.
    It is worrying in the extreme that had the current regulations been in force when you had your black mould problem you could have been fined £30000 and lost the property.
    Clearly the mould was there so it must have been YOUR fault...................even though we know it wasn't your fault!!!
    Tenant lifestyle issues can have a very bad effect on a LL business.

     
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    Michael, - you are so right about parasites.
    No-win, no-fee solicitors are grieving the 'death' of PPI, but welcoming the birth of Deposit claims and its new-born sibling the Fitness (sic) for Human Habitation Act.
    Have a look at the Rentolkil Care survey where shocking %'s of tenants admit to causing damp, - but they won't be admitting it when they're served with an eviction notice and offer it up as a Retaliatory Defence to Possession - as warned by Thursfield solicitors in Birmingham.

  • Bill Wood

    Aspect does not give the total number of tenants canvassed (as opposed to the number who responded), so let's assume it's 10,000.
    The report says that 43% of the 1000 tenants that responded had issues, thats 430.
    So, of the 1000 responders, 430 had issues and 570 didn't.
    The 9000 tenants that didn't respond probably didn't do so because they didn't have any issues.
    The number of tenants canvassed that did not have any issues is therefore 9570.
    So, unless I am missing something here, the percentage of tenants with issues is 4.3%, not 43%
    Anyway, I'm pleased to see Chelmsford has least problems in this area, as all my properties are in Chelmsford :-)

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