One in five tenants have nightmare landlords who leave homes in disrepair – with issues including damp, mould, building faults and water leaks.
The research from boiler installer company Help-Link.co.uk found that 740,000 tenants are living in properties with category 1 health and safety issues such as severe damp, rat infestations or even the risk of explosion.
This winter a third (34%) of tenants will be living in a house with mould and one in four currently don’t have access to functional heating.
After raising such issues tenants found that it typically took seven and a half weeks for landlords to fix such problems.
And tenants typically lost around £355 of their deposit at the end of their agreement.
Paul Shamplina, founder of eviction service Landlord Action, said: “The colder months present a series of significant risks to rental properties, particularly relating to heating systems.
“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.”
However he added that tenants are sometimes the worst offenders by falling on hard times and failing to pay rent without communicating with their landlords.
Between April and June 2016 there were 21,435 county court bailiff evictions, with London local authorities accounting for 17 or 20 boroughs with the highest number of evictions.
A total of 2,000 tenants were polled for the research.