New research by housing charity Shelter has found that over 40,000 private rented homes in the North West equivalent to 1 in 13, have suffered from animal infestations such as mice and cockroaches in the last year alone.
The Shelter and YouGov poll of over 3,700 private renters in England revealed that bad living conditions are rife in rented homes, with almost half of renters (47%) in the North West reporting that they had experienced problems with poor conditions or disrepair in the last year.
Over a third of private renters surveyed by the housing charity said they had lived in a property with damp or mould (33%), over a fifth suffered with poor insulation and excess cold (22%), while electrical hazards were reported by 17% of renters.
Last year, almost 6,000 private renters called the Shelter helpline and nearly 400,000 people visited the website for expert advice on conditions or disrepair in their homes.
The findings come as no surprise, with recent government statistics showing that 1 in 6 private rented homes in England contain a health and safety hazard. The housing charity is warning that huge numbers of renters are stuck in homes which are not fit for purpose, often not knowing their rights or where to go for support and advice.
Shelter helpline adviser Nadeem Khan said: “Every day at Shelter we speak to people desperate for help, after being forced to live in appalling conditions for months on end.
“Some of the housing horrors we hear are truly shocking – from people who are forced to live in flats crawling with fleas or rats, or with water pouring out of the toilet waste pipe, to those who’ve been through the ordeal of a fire in their home caused by faulty wiring.
“No-one should have to live in a home which is unsanitary or unsafe, and that’s why it’s crucial to know your rights as a renter.