With the cost of homeownership still out of reach for many Brits, renting still continues to be the most viable accommodation option. And while neither is free from potential problems, new research has revealed that the nation’s tenants are facing a particularly troubling phenomena.
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The survey of 1,000 people conducted on behalf of London property maintenance experts Aspect comes as The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act takes effect, providing an amendment to the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 with the aim of boosting standards across the rental sector.
It found that just under half (44 per cent) of those who are currently renters, or who had been renters in the past, had experienced illness or injury as a result of the condition of their home. These problems ranged from respiratory problems to stress.
Detailing the types of injuries they’ve sustained, 8 per cent said they’ve sustained cuts and scrapes from sharp edges and poorly-fitted fixtures. A further 7.4 per cent said they had interrupted sleep due to vermin/pests, while 6 per cent revealed that they have had an electric shock from a landlord-supplied appliance. In addition, 4 per cent admitted that they’ve experienced a carbon monoxide related illness that they attribute directly to the condition of the property they’re renting.
The research also highlighted that the renter age group most likely to experience illness and injury related to a rental property are 18-24 year-olds (58 per cent), closely followed by 35-44 year-olds (54 per cent). This presents a real jump compared to older renters: 45-54 year-olds (39 per cent) and over-55s (27 per cent).
And when it comes to the cities with the most property-related illness and injury Birmingham (57.58 per cent) topped the list, followed by:
- Swansea (57.14 per cent)
- Plymouth (56.52 per cent)
- Leeds (55.00 per cent)
- London (52.87 per cent)
On the flip-side Chelmsford (14.29 per cent) comes out on top for cities with the fewest property-related illness and injury with the ranking completed by the following:
- Oxford (30.43 per cent)
- Liverpool (31.43 per cent)
- Manchester (31.46 per cent)
- Aberdeen (33.33 per cent)
Commenting 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.’
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Have you experienced any of the above as a renter?