Official figures have revealed that England faces a £8billion to repair inadequate rented homes – with a Cornwall couple claiming to have been evicted after complaining to their landlord after spending four months without a kitchen floor.
Analysis of the recently-released results of the English Housing Survey by claims management firm Veriwise has revealed that a almost a quarter of privately rented homes (23%) and more than one in ten socially-rented homes (12%) currently fail to meet the minimum standard.
This means they key parts of the properties “need replacing or major repair” because of their condition, or that the homes feature major hazards such as damp and mould growth, excess carbon monoxide, poor sanitation and dangerous electrics.
The official research reports that an average of £7912 is needed to bring these homes up to standards – rising to an average of £10,569 in the North West.
This means a bill of £8billion for repairing England’s inadequate rented homes.
The news comes as an elderly couple alleged that their landlord had evicted them from their Cornwall home after claiming not to be able to afford repairs to the property.
Lorraine and Mark Forbes of Hayle stated that water damage to their home had left them without a kitchen floor for four months.
The couple’s bungalow also suffered from broken central heating, an infestation of gnats and a damaged bedroom window.
“Our landlord said he couldn’t afford to sort it” Mrs Forbes told Cornwall Live.
The couple claim that they were evicted after making complaints about the condition of the property.
Ajay Jagota, founder of specialist claims management firm Veriwise, commented:
“It is a needless national scandal that so many renters in England and the rest of the United Kingdom are putting up with their landlord not fixing things.
“Up and down the country there are renters asking questions like ‘how long can my landlord leave me without a toilet?’ and ‘how long does a landlord have to fix electricity?’ – or in this case ‘how long do I have to put up with having no kitchen floor?’
“It is not good enough for landlords to claim that they can’t afford these repairs – they have a legal responsibility to carry them out. Veriwise was set up to support renters who lack the resources or legal skills to enforce these responsibilities and even pursue claims for compensation.
“If you don’t know what to do if your landlord doesn’t fix things, Veriwise is there for you”.
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
A spokesperson for Bradley Estate Agents has stated with regards to Mr and Mrs Forbes’ property: “the landlord intends to occupy the property himself as is his right. In respect of the maintenance reports, we confirm all works as reported have been completed contemporaneously”.
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