“Hundreds of thousands living in squalid rented homes in England”

Owl says: the sixth RICHEST country in the world …. where landlord MPs refused to pass a law about habitable housing because … well just because they can.

Rented housing so squalid it is likely to leave tenants requiring medical attention is being endured by hundreds of thousands of young adults in England, an analysis of government figures has revealed.

Rats, mouldy walls, exposed electrical wiring, leaking roofs and broken locks are among problems blighting an estimated 338,000 homes rented by people under 35 that have been deemed so hazardous they are likely to cause harm.

It is likely to mean that over half a million people are starting their adult lives in such conditions amid a worsening housing shortage and rising rents across the UK which are up 15% in the last seven years.

Visits by the Guardian to properties where tenants are paying private landlords up to £1,100 a month have revealed holes in external walls, insect-infested beds, water pouring through ceilings and mould-covered kitchens.

A 30-year-old mother near Bristol said her home is so damp that her child’s cot rotted. A 34-year-old woman in Luton told of living with no heating and infestations of rats and cockroaches, while a 24-year-old mother from Kent said she lived in a damp flat with no heating and defective wiring for a year before it was condemned. …

Government figures suggest as many as 2.4 million people in England live in rented homes – both in the private and social sectors – with category 1 hazards. That includes 756,000 households living in private rented properties – almost one in five of the whole private rented stock – and 244,000 households in social housing.

Sajid Javid, the housing secretary, said he was determined “to do everything possible to protect tenants” and pledged government support for new legislation that requires all landlords to ensure properties are safe and give tenants the right to take legal action if landlords fail in their duties..

“In practice you have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer,” said John Healey MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing. “Too many people are forced to put up with downright dangerous housing. After the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it’s even more important that ministers back Labour’s plan to make all homes fit for human habitation.” …