Worrying about housing is making renters ill

Worrying about housing is making renters ill

Metro.co.uk - Lifestyle·416 views·2020-01-15 07:15

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Worries about affording rent or being kicked out of a property are making people feel unwell. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Do high renting costs make you sick?

As in, literally ill?

You’re not alone.

An estimated two million renters have been left feeling physically ill over the past year due to housing worries, Shelter has found.

A survey of nearly 4,000 private renters found that 24% of them said housing problems or worries such as affording rent, poor conditions, or fears over losing their tenancy had made them feel unwell in the past year.

45% had experienced stress and anxiety as a direct result of their housing concerns, 32% said housing worries kept them up at night, and 32% said they felt hopeless as a result.

The research is a reminder of just how important it is to speak up and ask for help if housing issues are becoming overwhelming.

Shelter is urging anyone feeling stressed by their housing situation to get in touch for free and expert advice.

Shelter emergency helpline manager Andrea Deakin said: ‘This time of year can be especially stressful and difficult for families who are struggling to cope with big rent bills, or things like cold and mouldy homes during the winter months.

‘People all over the country will be experiencing the same housing heartache, and there’s no shame in asking for help.

‘Shelter’s services are open 365 days a year, and with the continued support of the public we will do all we can to be there for everyone who needs us.’

Landlords have responded to the study by suggesting that the ‘majority of private sector tenants are satisfied with their accommodation’.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, said: ‘We accept that, unfortunately, some private sector tenants will feel unhappy and stressed as a result of their housing but the same will apply to many social housing tenants and owner occupiers.

‘We accept also that not all landlords are perfect but the objective assessment is that the overwhelming majority of private sector tenants are satisfied with their accommodation and enjoy a good relationship with their landlord.

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‘It is vital that tenant groups properly reflect this, rather than stoking fears that tenants are about to be evicted for no apparent reason, live in sub-standard accommodation and are charged exorbitant rents. This is simply not true and it is irresponsible to suggest so.

‘We do all we can to support landlords to provide high standard, secure and affordable tenancies and we call on tenant organisations to work with us to help achieve this and root out the bad landlords that none of us wishes to see in the market.’

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: ‘Tenants should have peace of mind they have a safe place to call home without fear of eviction.

‘That’s why we are delivering radical change for tenants through our upcoming Renter’s Rights Bill which will raise standards and security for renters and help to drive out poor landlords.

‘We’ve acted to make changes now – our landmark Tenants Fees Act is saving tenants cash by capping deposits and banning most letting fees, meaning they can spend on other priorities.’

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