Millions of renters living in damp and run-down properties are suffering worsening mental and physical health, new research by homelessness charity Shelter suggests.
It found that about 40% of people in rented homes had experienced poor health due to their living conditions in the last year – amounting to almost three million people in England, it is reported.
Nearly two-thirds of renters said their mental health had worsened due to housing worries since 2022, and this was particularly bad in London, the north-west and north-east.
People with disabilities are affected disproportionately by deteriorating health, with half of all disabled renters saying they had become more ill due to worrying about their living conditions, compared with 29% in the rest of the renting population.
The Shelter survey also exposed the difficult financial situation facing many of England’s renters, almost half of whom said they would not be able to afford where they live if their landlord increased the rent by 10%.
This applied to almost two-thirds of the 1.8 million renters in London and about 60% in the south-west, south-east and north-west of England.
Campaigners including Shelter are growing increasingly concerned that the Renters (Reform) Bill is being delayed due to opposition from Conservative MPs. It had been expected to have its second reading in the Commons earlier this year but this is not expected to happen until November.
Campaigns director Osama Bhutta (pictured) says: “It is disgraceful that England’s 11 million private tenants are at the mercy of a broken rental system while politicians sit on their hands and dither over whether to make renting fairer and safer.”