Report finds a rising number of renters are living in substandard conditions

The latest figures show a growing number of tenant queries relating to poor standards of accommodation.

The national housing charity, Threshold, have released figures in their Q3 Impact Report that show 7% of renters were concerned with poor standards of accommodation from July to September of this year. This number has risen from 4.5% in their Q2 2023 report.

It was found that tenants often report issues of dampness, inadequate ventilation, or poor insulation, making it expensive to heat their home.

Threshold have proposed that an NCT-style system for housing may help ensure that accommodation standards are met consistently across the board. This system would see landlords having to produce a ‘certificate of fitness’ ensuring that their property meets all of the standards for habitation, following an inspection of the property by a registered building professional or local authority inspector to the RTB (Residential Tenancies Board)

Threshold CEO John-Mark McCafferty commented on the report, stating:“Q3 saw a high number of queries regarding the standards of accommodation for tenants. It is a right of a tenant to expect the conditions in which they live to be kept to a liveable standard. By proposing an NCT-style system, Threshold hopes to make a real change to the living standards of private renters. At the very least, an overhaul of the existing Local Authority inspections system is required in order to address massive inconsistencies of approach between local authorities and the difficulty in follow up regarding properties which fail inspections.”

More than half the queries in the Q3 Impact Report were related to tenancy terminations, which has risen from 38% in the Q2 2023 report.

Mr. McCafferty said “It is very worrying, if not surprising at this stage, to see that one of the main challenges facing tenants continues to be tenancy terminations and more specifically, termination as a result of landlords selling homes. While our incredible team prevented over 900 households from entering homelessness, the threat – and reality – of tenancy termination continues to be a very real one for many households across the country. It shows that there is still a lot of work to be done to tackle the housing crisis.”

In Q3, Threshold supported over 900 households to stay in their homes or secure alternative housing, preventing them from entering homelessness, with 1,333 adults and 939 children supported. Of the new households who contacted Threshold in Q3, 5,318 were at risk of losing their homes and possibly homelessness.

For the third consecutive quarter, most of these renters were at risk because their landlord wished to sell the home. 

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