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One in nine private rental homes are damp, claim activists

The Generation Rent campaign group says the latest English Housing Survey shows that 23 per cent of private rented homes fail decency standards, 14 per cent are unsafe, and 11 per cent have a damp problem.

The most recent English Housing Survey relates to 2021-22 and has been published today by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, says: "Homes are critical to our health and wellbeing. Damp and unsafe homes are making too many private renters ill.  This winter more of us are struggling to afford to keep our homes warm, putting us at greater risk of ill-health.


"We urgently need the Renters Reform Bill to raise minimum standards that renters can expect from their homes, and give them the security of tenure they need to complain without fear of eviction.

"And if the government is serious about eradicating the scourge of damp and mould, ministers must give tenants better legal support to take action against negligent landlords."

The campaigners also say that the EHS shows private rented homes are more likely to be poorly insulated - 56 per cent had EPC band D to G, while only 31 per cent of social rented properties fell into that category.

In June this year the White Paper A Fairer Private Rented Sector set out the government's plans to abolish Section 21 evictions, introduce a landlord register via a new portal, and make private rented property subject to the Decent Homes Standard currently applied to social rented property.

The Renters Reform Bill is to be published by the government sometime in 2023.

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    I would like to know how they select respondents for this survey. No one asked my tenants who have beautifully presented lovely warm bright clean homes - 2 beds 3baths- some have power showers - efficient new boilers from Worcester - Perhaps they picked and chose carefully to find that 23%???


    Alternative headline....
    "1 in 9 disgruntled tenants report damp issues"


    Apparently "Each year a sample of addresses is drawn at random from a list of private addresses held by the Royal Mail. Householders at those addresses are invited to take part in the survey and will receive an initial letter from our contractor NatCen Social Research."
    I guess some will be more motivated to participate than others, and all the usual limitations of such research methods would apply.
    It's easy to access the full report and quite interesting.

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    Alacia is right Homes are critical to our Health at Wellbeing.
    So Stop driving out Private Landlords its obviously far worse to have no home.
    So Campaign group says 56% have an EPC from D to G very good so they included D which is obviously better than E ,F or G. Why didn’t they include C and they would get a higher figure percentage to suit their purpose.

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    None of my properties have any mould or damp 100% and actually I have 6 EPC’s ‘ C’ rated.
    Un-Fairer Renting Laws to be introduced in 2023 who would ever thought it was even Possible.

  • icon

    As always these figures are plucked out of thin air, total BS I don't believe a word of it

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    As usual, no mention of the causes of the damp, just blame the landlord.


    My tenant didn't report a broken extractor fan. Also always dries washing inside with windows shut. I got the blame from the council.

    As you say blame the landlord every time. Just like Gove's new Ombudsman will.

  • icon

    Maybe the article should read… 1 in 9 tenants don’t heat their homes or open a window and dry their washing on chairs and radiators !! As usual another piece of legislation is sitting on the sidelines waiting for us. 😱😱. Thank goodness I am selling.


    This is another reason I'm selling. I've been through the:

    mould at the property=tenant is innocent+landlord is guilty situation

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    The trouble with these surveys is the questions are subject. How damp does it have to be to be called damp?

  • jeremy clarke

    in over 30 years, despite hundreds of tenants reporting "damp" I can only recall 2 or 3 actual cases of damp, the rest turned out (surprise surprise) to be condensation which in most cases was caused by tenant's lifestyle!
    I currently manage a small 3-storey 1960's block of 9 flats, most of them report damp each year. there is 1 flat which has been empty now for 4+ years due to a probate dispute, I have the keys to clear post etc. No heating on, windows on vent, no black mould at all, flat next door is occupied and has black mould every year (owner occupied!) it's a lifestyle thing!

  • George Dawes

    All my epc’s run out in 2030

    How very convenient…


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