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Four in 10 renters live in poorly maintained homes, survey suggests

More than a third of renters across the UK report being stuck in poorly maintained homes with landlords who refuse to repair properties and the same number reporting living in cold and damp conditions, according to a new survey from the HomeOwners Alliance.

The study shows that 39% of renters have trouble getting their landlord to carry out essential repairs; 38% live in cold and damp properties; 36% have anti-social neighbours.

Meanwhile, a majority of existing private tenant in this country fear they will never get on the property ladder, with six in 10 renters concerned they will not be able to afford to buy a home.

The research also details people’s concerns and criticisms regarding the shortcomings of the Shared Ownership and Help to Buy schemes aimed at helping them buy a property, although the study found that Build to Rent is forecast to become a more suitable solution with the longer tenancies it offers.

The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults found those renting also face problems, with 35% claiming to live in poor quality properties; 32% having a limited choice of rental properties; 20% concerned that their property does not meet safety or fire standards.

The research also found that almost half - 48% - of renters supported the ban on tenant fees; 40% said they would like to rent from a responsible housing provider; 38% wish to see high quality safety and energy efficiency standards in their homes; 35% want the option of a longer tenancy.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: “We have a crisis on our hands. A majority living in rented accommodation desperately want to buy a home of their own - yet most think this is a pipe dream. This shouldn’t be the case in the fifth strongest economy in the world.

“Not only that, but it is disgraceful that such high numbers of people living in rented accommodation are putting up with damp, cold properties and reluctant landlords who do not maintain their homes to the required standards. It has been incredibly unfair that such high charges have been put on those living in the rental sector and the Home Owners Alliance welcomes this overdue ban.

“Help to Buy continues to be a popular scheme despite fundamental leasehold problems, while features offered by Build to Rent developments are also attractive to consumers, including security of tenure. Shared ownership has also lost some of its shine.”

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