11th January, 2022
One in five renters are not satisfied with the condition of their properties– and enough renters in England have concerns about repairs and maintenance to fill a city the size of Birmingham.
Analysis by claims management firm Veriwise of figures from the newly-released English Housing Survey shows 17% of private tenants are not satisfied with the standard of their homes – meaning some 748,000 families could be living with damp, faulty electrics or dodgy and unsanitary plumbing.
Another 1 in 4 renters report being dissatisfied with the repairs and maintenance carried out by their landlord, with a landlord refusing to carry out repairs their biggest complaint.
This equates to 1.1 million of England 4.4m renters who are not satisfied with the maintenance of their home – equivalent to the population of Birmingham.
The figures also say that:
23% of privately rented homes (and 12% of socially rented homes) fail to meet minimum standards.
820,000 homes in England have a problem with damp
13% of privately rented homes contain a hazard such as damp or mould, faulty heating systems, unhygienic food storage (such as a lack of a working fridge) or dangerous electrics.
11% of privately rented homes do not have a working smoke alarm.
The three most common reasons for private renters being dissatisfied with repairs and maintenance were:
Landlord not bothering with repairs or maintenance (35%)
Landlord being slow to get things done (25%)
Landlord doing the bare minimum (15%).
The analysis was carried out by renting campaigner Ajay Jagota, founder of specialist claims management firm Veriwise.
“These are outrageous figures which really bring home how many people in England are living day in day out in danger and squalor as a result of their landlords not taking their responsibilities seriously.
“In every corner of the country there are renters wondering why their landlord won’t get rid of rats or wondering how long a landlord has to fix an electrical problem or can legally leave them without heating – all knowing that any complaints will probably get them nowhere.
“Countless council house and privately rented tenants are being told year after year that the damp in their children’s bedroom is their fault for not opening the windows or drying clothes in the house – and most of them don’t know where to turn to or don’t have the confidence or resources to fight their case in court.
“We founded Veriwise to level the playing field for renters who are currently having to put up with substandard rented homes”
Veriwise takes on housing disrepair claims on behalf of renters, negotiating with councils or private landlords to get property maintenance issues fixed quickly and claim compensation for renters from landlords. In cases where the landlord does not comply Veriwise have a panel of solicitors who can take the case to court to ensure the landlord complies and pays any compensation.
All renters have to do is submit the issues they are experiencing with their rented home online, allowing Veriwise to identify legal breaches and follow them up with landlords to rapidly resolve the issue and seek compensation where appropriate. Veriwise is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The English Housing Survey is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which has been running since 1967. The survey collects information about people’s housing circumstances and the condition of housing in England.
Notes to editors
Earlier this year ITV News reported Daniel Hewitt highlighted how the process of getting property maintenance issues “reported and resolved” is “not only slow, but complicated and cumbersome”. His reports can be seen here.