Safe and Comfortable Homes

From our survey of private renters in Southwark, we found that a fifth of respondents were dissatisfied with their property. Many respondents experienced overcrowding or unsafe conditions. A quarter had no separate living room in their home.

“To get the maximum rent from the property, the living room was turned into a third bedroom so communal space is very limited.”

“[The] flat was dangerous when I first moved in (faulty wiring – no earth to washing machine, ‘live’ switches, overloaded wiring behind kitchen tiles etc) and it took a long time to persuade [the] agent of the danger.”

Two thirds of tenants had problems getting repairs done. Ninety-six per cent of respondents want minimum standards for private rented properties to be legally enforced.

“The carpet is threadbare, stained and damp. The walls are chipped and there is a recurrent mold problem.”

“It wasn’t fit for human habitation.”

“[There are] significant damp problems that were not disclosed when we moved in and are really stressful to live with because of the threat to physical health.”

A fifth of renters are dissatisfied with their landlord. Half of respondents had problems contacting their landlord, a quarter had problems with their landlord or letting agent entering their home with insufficient notice and 8% had experienced harassment or intimidation from their landlord.

“We’ve had a problem with moths, and the landlady has tried to place inappropriate levels of blame on us for this. She’s prone to calling at inappropriate times (6am!) and has just turned up at the flat on one occasion.”

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