Critter infestation misery for 68,000 private tenants
One in ten have been plagued in the last year alone, survey claims
The Shelter and YouGov poll revealed that bad living conditions are rife in rented homes, with almost half of tenants (47 per cent) in the South East reporting that they had experienced problems with poor conditions or disrepair in the last year.
Over a third of private renters surveyed by the charity said they had lived in a property with damp or mould (34 per cent), almost a quarter suffered with poor insulation and excess cold (24 per cent), while electrical hazards were reported by 10 per cent of renters.
Last year, almost 6,000 private tenants called the Shelter helpline and nearly 400,000 people visited the website for expert advice on conditions or disrepair in their homes.
The findings follow recent government statistics showing that one in six privately rented homes in England contain a health and safety hazard.
The housing charity is warning that huge numbers of tenants are stuck in homes which are not fit for purpose, often not knowing their rights or where to go for support and advice.
Shelter helpline adviser Nadeem Khan said: “Every day at Shelter we speak to people desperate for help, after being forced to live in appalling conditions for months on end.
“Some of the housing horrors we hear are truly shocking – from people who are forced to live in flats crawling with fleas or rats, or with water pouring out of the toilet waste pipe, to those who’ve been through the ordeal of a fire in their home caused by faulty wiring.”
Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “It’s shocking that renters in the South East are stuck living in properties riddled with problems, often paying sky-high rents for the privilege.
“The government must do more to protect renters from the rogue landlords who let out these shoddy properties, so that every renter can feel safe in their own home.”
Rats and cockroaches are among common unwanted