Help-Link.co.uk said 740,000 households present “a severe threat to tenants’ health”. It commissioned the study of 2,000 tenants nationwide to highlight the issues that landlords and tenants face.
The study found that damp is the biggest issue, with 41% of tenants living in a house that suffers from it. In addition, 34% of tenants are living in a house with mould and one in four don’t have access to functional heating.
Other issues include building faults (33%), water leaks (30%), damaged windows (20%), unwanted pests (12%) and broken fire alarms (10%).
After raising these issues with their landlords, respondents reported that it took, on average, seven and a half weeks for landlords to fix problems.
Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, said many of these problems are more acute in the winter months.
“One of the common complaints we have found in the past is that some tenants make it difficult for landlords to visit the property.
“However, regular inspections are imperative to check pipes for breaks, leaks, and blockages, bleed radiators and arrange routine boiler checks. Blocked or leaking pipes can freeze during the cold months, then expand and burst,” Shamplina added.
Landlords also struggle with issues such as tenants tampering with fire alarms to prevent them from going off and a lack of communication over financial difficulty.
“We regularly come across cases where tenants have fallen on hard times and rather than communicate with their landlord for fear of losing their home, they instead choose to avoid paying the rent until the landlord reaches breaking point and the end result is eviction,” he said.