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Graham Awards


Shock figures claim to show scale of mould on rental properties

Some 48 per cent of tenants are currently living with one or more housing disrepair issues, it’s being claimed.

The problems include mould, damp, leaks, electrical hazards, heating or hot water issues or blocked drains.

The claim comes from a property compensation firm Hodge, Jones & Allen.


Tenants aged 18-24 are the most likely to be living with an issue (67 per cent)followed by 35–44 year olds (52 per cent).

The city with the most housing disrepair issues was shown to be Nottingham, where six in 10 tenants claim they’re living with one or more issues.  

This was followed by Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and London - all over 50 per cent.

The company claims an estimated 14 per cent of rental properties don’t meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard while one in 10 are also estimated to have a Category one hazard present – which means tenant safety is judged to be at serious risk.  

Research undertaken on behalf of the firm shows that the most common disrepair issues are mould and damp, followed by defective entrance and leaks. 

The firm’s survey was relatively small - 1,000 current UK rental tenants in September. It also compared some stats from this survey with a similar survey undertaken in 2021. 

The most common disrepair issues in rental properties (2023):

    1    Mould (48% have it in at least one room in the house) 

    2    Damp (47%) 

    3    Entrance defects (29%) 

    4    Roof leak (26%) / water leak (26%) 

    5    Blocked pipes / drains (24%) 

    6    Electrical hazard (23%) / heating or hot water issues (23%) 

    7    Structural damage (21%) 

    8    The absence of a working smoke detector (20%) 

  • icon

    Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate!

    As for blocked pipes and drains, well a lot of that is tenant caused. It would be interesting to know if the survey was of the PRS or Social Housing, or both.


    And it’s been my experience that the age group they say has the most issues are the most likely to have a rent payment issue and cause damage. The other point I find with that age group is if they get an issue they simply don’t report it to the landlord, but very quickly complain how bad the place is to everyone else.

  • Barry X

    I wonder what percentage of owner-occupiers, ie people in their own homes, and who have nobody to blame or rely on, are living with a few things in disrepair wrong in their homes that ideally could be fixed but aren't the end of the world or exactly life or health threatening meanwhile?

    The answer is, I'm sure... far-far more putting up with far worse than most of our lucky, pampered, demanding tenants with "rights", while none of those private owners thinking it important enough to actually spend their own time, let alone money, doing anything about it.... unless they were thinking of selling in which case they'd do a cheap "make-over" to disguise it at the end and get away with it!!!!!

    So much hypocrisy in the world.

  • icon

    Extractor fans turned off, wet towels hanging over doors windows shut of course you have damp and mould issues, when I rented many years ago the place wasn’t. Great but never once did I have mould welcome to generation Z.


    Perhaps they should be renamed Generation C for condensation or Generation MM for Millenium Mould?

    Barry X

    Over the years most of our properties have been absolutely fine and free from mould and condensation... until sometimes, occasionally, on a change of tenancy, chronic problems soon arose...

    ...typically starting with tile grout in shower cubicles becoming mouldy, water streaming down sealed shut bedroom windows in unheated rooms... etc...

    ...experienced landlords know exactly the causes and cure, which is why all traditional AST's have wording - often ignored or misunderstood by the very people who should be taking note - about the tenant's responsibility to "adequately heat and ventilate the property at all times".

    Penetrative damp and mould from wall and roof defects, and failed or leaking services etc can easily be distinguished and usually 100% fixed and resolved.

    The "chronic" problem of condensation caused by ignorant tenants claiming to be our captive victims, trying to beat us up via threats and enforcement actions, and generally demanding and trying to assert their "rights" are best and most easily resolved by a change of tenancy.... an important option soon to be taken from us like everything else.


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