Some UK rental properties are causing a severe threat to tenants’ health due to the condition of their home. From electrical issues to damp to pests to anxiety caused by these issues- bad rental health can be tackled.
According to property maintenance firm Aspect.co.uk, who provide local electricians across London, 6% of UK tenants have had an electric shock from a landlord-supplied appliance.
However, it’s not just electrical problems that are bothering tenants all around the UK.
7.9% said they suffered stress and anxiety from having to deal with vermin in their homes.
7.4% reported interrupted sleep from worrying about pest or vermin issues they had to deal with.
Damp is the Next Most Frequently Reported Issue After Heating Problems & Environmental Irritants
Damp is a commonly reported problem amongst renters. 10.1% complained they had suffered from breathing or lung problems due to the presence of mould, which is caused by damp.
There are several causes for this. In most instances, it is due to the living conditions of the tenant rather than there being anything wrong with the property itself. Nick Bizley, Operations Director at Aspect, explains this in more detail.
“A common cause of damp and mould we find within rental properties is not always linked to the property’s condition, but rather the living habits of the tenants. Tenants drying clothes directly over radiators with no windows open, rather than in a utility room or outside on the washing line can result in mould growth. Water from the wet clothes evaporates into the air due to the heat from the radiator and remains within the room due to a lack of ventilation. This will then quickly turn into condensation on walls, skirting boards or window frames where black mould will grow if not addressed.”
Poor property maintenance is the other reason that can cause damp problems in rental properties. Peeling windows and leaking pipework are different common ways that damp can enter the home. Damp can even originate outside a property, particularly during winter. Nick Bizley tells us more below.
“This time of year especially, we receive a high volume of calls regarding overflowing and leaking rainwater guttering and downpipes, which allows large amounts of water to cascade down a building’s brickwork and over time, saturate it and cause a damp or wet patch to appear on the inside of a property.”
What is clear is that if landlords were more timely in fixing problems reported by their tenants, and educated tenants about lifestyle changes in their home, perhaps these statistics wouldn’t be so prominent.
The good news is that landlords will now have to make sure their homes are ‘fit for habitation’ rather than being simply ‘adequately maintained’ under The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act. Hopefully, this new law will result in fewer reported problems that many tenants around the UK face, and somewhat improves the health in the process.