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Bad plumbing not mould is top concern for private tenants

Two thirds of private renters had an issue with the quality or condition of their home during the past six months, according to new research, with plumbing problems top of the list.

The TDS Charitable Foundation’s poll of more than 2,000 private renters found that while 40% of tenants hadn’t had any issues in the past six months, 60% had one or more.

The top five problems included leaks or trouble with plumbing (21%), difficulties keeping their home warm (20%), repairs not being carried out (18%), serious problems with damp or mould (16%) and outside doors, walls, roofs or windows being in need of repair (16%). Of these, 85% had reported problems to their landlord or letting agent, with 78% saying the issue was either fully or partially addressed.


The minority of tenants who did not report the issues to their landlord or letting agent said this was due to a perceived ineffectiveness of reporting (30%), the hassle involved (27%), fears about not being seen as a good tenant (23%) and concerns about potential rent increases (22%).

Dr Jennifer Harris (pictured), head of policy and research at TDS Group, says while problems are being addressed by landlords in a majority of cases when they are reported, it’s worrying that more than one in ten tenants with issues didn’t feel confident reporting it.

She adds: “The government’s plans to reform the rental market, including developing a decent homes standard for private rented housing, need to ensure tenants feel confident to speak out where their homes meet all required standards.”


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