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One in five renters ill because of property condition, claims Shelter

Shelter says 20 per cent of private and social renters in England suffer poor health because of the condition of their properties.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the campaigning charity says the most common problems include damp and mould; plus not being able to heat the home - these issues affect 26 per cent of tenants, it claims.

Constantly struggling to pay rent (21 per cent) and fear of eviction (19 per cent) are other worries for tenants, the charity claims. 


Renters experiencing any one of these issues are three times more likely  to say their current housing situation is harming their health, the poll shows. 

In a separate study of private renters only, Shelter says 39 per cent are “feeling stressed and anxious” because of housing conditions, while 22 per cent are "physically sick” and 21 per cent say housing issues “negatively affected their performance at work.” 

Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate says: “The cost of poor housing is spilling out into overwhelmed GP surgeries, mental health services, and hours lost from work. The new Housing Secretary must get a grip on the housing crisis and tackle a major cause of ill health. 

“Listening to the calls flooding into our helpline there is no doubt that health and housing go hand in hand. Yet, millions of renters are living in homes that make them sick because they are mouldy, cold, unaffordable and grossly insecure. The stress and suffering that comes with not knowing if you can pay your rent from month to month, or if you will face eviction is huge. 

“The government can ease the pressure on renters’ health now by providing targeted grants to clear rent arrears built up during the pandemic, and by making good on its promise to reform private renting. But ultimately the housing crisis will never be cured until we build the decent social homes that more people need to live a healthy life.” 

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    In my recent survey 9 out of 10 Landlords think Shelter is an incompetent organisation. Most Landlords , in my experience believe that Shelter needs to re-think its strategy and possibly work with tenants to educate them how to look after a property to avoid mould and other issues. However, that would mean that they would have to walk away from their computers and do some real work and investigations.

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    Having just read about Charles Dickens House in Tower Hamlets, where tenants have been dealing with appalling conditions for over a decade, and remembering the recent story of similar conditions in Croydon's Social Housing I would suggest that Shelter should concentrate its efforts on taking these Housing Associations to task instead of constantly haranguing the PRS.

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    This is another whopper by Shelter what law are they trying to change now. They had a colleague given Air time on LBC last night spouting out this nonsense, why are they allowed to use the Media to lie, I seem to remember a fellow LL Mr Hughes said the radio station covering his area were doing same Radio 5 or something? Its a concerted effort to damage us.
    OK 20% / 1 : 5 are Sick because of us ? That means I should have a dozen Sick because of my property. I am in close contact with all my Tenants & guess what none of them currently sick for any reason not alone my properties. Shelter should withdraw this allegation promptly and apologise if they have any credibility left.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I have contacted LBC Customer Services ( Tel 0333 200 2000 ) to complain about the biased presentation on behalf of Tenants Only.
    Further, I have offered my contact details to be invited to any discussion about renting so as to be able to give a balanced perspective.

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    Damp caused by a leaking roof is the landlords responsibility, damp caused by condensation is totally down to the people living in the property as has been proved time and again .

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    It would be a dreadful thing to think but Corona is probably the best cure for mould / damp and mildew, it opened windows.

  • James B

    What a load of tripe .. I have 450 properties under our care and 0% have an ill tenant .. how do they get away with such slanderous lies

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    Even if this mud slinging story is true, which it is most unlikely not and significantly contributed to by tenant actions or lack; I am sure most will agree that 4 out of 5 housed by Shelter live in dangerous conditions well protected by quite an incompetent govt. and numerous scoundrel Councils!


    I think you will find that Shelter house nobody at all - they're just a political pressure group full of highly paid "executives".
    Shelter eh, an oxymoron if ever there was one

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    Of the 20% of tenants that are "ill" because of their living conditions, how many are in social housing and how many are in private accommodation??

    We manage 100's of properties in Croydon and the only ongoing issues we have heard of recently are in Croydon Councils own properties!!

    If one of our tenants report an issue, we deal with it as soon as we can so both tenants(and landlords) are happy with the properties condition

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    shelter is a political organization--it should not have charitable status

  • Kathryn Everson

    What a load of skewing facts. Coronavirus has caused 'ill health' in a high percentage of the population, not directly, but through stress resulting issues (including landlords as to how they will pay their rental property mortgages, which can be their only source of income. Or those people who have their own mortgages worrying as they have lost or may lose their jobs, how they will pay their own family mortgage....Ignore these facts though) Do a survey of a handful of tenants, known to Shelter (mainly those who are never happy unless they get everything they want for nothing and DO cause damage to the properties and do not expect to have to pay for it. Then apply these general population figures and surprise, surprise, Shelter will have the skewed, information it requires. Disgusting they have such power, when they are so absolutely biased.

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    Shelter is run by Socialists whose only purpose seems to be spreading misinformation and creating ill feelings between Tenants and Landlords. Very sad People really, they are like Terrorists without any real useful or meaningful purpose.

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    “Listening to the calls flooding into our helpline...." The people who phone Shelter do so because they have problems.
    The vast majority who do not have problems do not phone Shelter.


    And I expect 90% of those phoning in are on benefits and not paying their rent.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Most of the people phoning shelter have " Rent-paying problems " ! as Andrew says.

  • Theodor Cable

    "Rent paying problems"?
    Is that not Government support of theft?


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