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One in eight privately rented homes in England pose threat to well being, MPs say | Renting property

More than one in eight privately rented homes in England pose a critical threat to individuals’s well being and security, costing the NHS about £340m a year, in accordance to a report from a committee of MPs.

It additionally uncovered proof of illegal discrimination, with an estimated one in 4 landlords unwilling to let to non-British passport holders.

The public accounts committee’s findings come as tenants’ funds face a report squeeze, with increased rents and power invoice will increase combining to pile extra strain on many households.

In January the property web site Rightmove mentioned non-public rents in Britain have been rising on the quickest rate on report, with the common marketed lease outdoors London nearly 10% increased than a year earlier.

In its report, the committee mentioned it was “too difficult for renters to realise their legal right to a safe and secure home”, and that native authorities – constrained by an absence of help from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – didn’t have the aptitude to present them with correct safety.

An estimated 11 million individuals lease privately in England, and the sector has doubled in dimension through the previous twenty years. Years of hovering home costs have meant that many individuals who need to purchase their very own dwelling have been compelled to keep in rented lodging for years, in some instances with no prospect of ever having the ability to afford their very own place in the world the place they stay.

The committee’s report mentioned an estimated 13% (589,000) of privately rented homes in England had at the very least one “category one” hazard – a critical threat to well being and security that landlords are legally obliged to deal with.

These hazards may vary from damp and mold or a danger of accidents – for instance, from journeys or falls, defective wiring or components of the constructing collapsing – to smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors that have been lacking or not working.

Compliance with the authorized minimal requirements was inconsistent throughout England, with the proportion of properties with class one hazards starting from 9% in London to 21% in Yorkshire and the Humber. The end result, mentioned the MPs, was “a ‘postcode lottery’ of tenant safety”.

At the identical time there was additionally proof of illegal discrimination in the sector, with an estimated 25% of landlords unwilling to let to non-British passport holders, and 52% unwilling to let to tenants who obtain housing profit.

Yet solely 10 landlords and letting brokers have been banned by native authorities since 2016, whereas some councils examine as few as 0.1% of their privately rented properties.

The report mentioned the division recognised the challenges inside the sector and had dedicated to proposing reforms in a white paper due later this year.

Meg Hillier MP, the committee’s chair, mentioned: “Unsafe conditions, overcrowding, harassment, discrimination and dodgy evictions are still a huge issue in the private rented sector.”

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