More than one in six private renters in England – equivalent to two million people – were forced to accept poor conditions to find somewhere they could rent, housing charity says.
Shelter’s YouGov poll reveals millions of private renters have endured dangerous conditions in their current home, such as mould (42%), broken boilers (31%), pests (14%) and electrical hazards (11%), within the last year.
The poll also revealed that when private renters raised a maintenance issue that needed fixing, 17% – equivalent to 1.9 million people – had to wait over a month for their landlord or letting agent to start dealing with the request.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘Landlords and letting agents have got away with cutting corners for far too long because renters are powerless to challenge them. Tenants are sick of paying through the nose for terrible rentals because they have no other choice.
‘Every day our frontline services hear from renters stuck living in nightmare situations, too scared to complain for fear they’ll be kicked out. No-one should be stuck living in mouldy homes that make them ill or have to put up with landlords who turn up unannounced.
‘Private renting is broken – and the only way to fix it is by strengthening tenants’ rights so they can stand up to bad landlords and challenge poor conditions. The government must keep its promise by introducing a Renters’ Reform Bill this year that will scrap “no fault” evictions and bring in a national landlord register. It’s the only way to transform private renting for good.’