The Chartered Institute of Environmental health has called on the Government to urgently improve dangerous housing across the country after the latest figures show that rogue landlords have caused around three quarters of a million people to live in unsafe or unsanitary shared homes.
New analysis from The Times in the wake of the deaths of two men of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning living in unlicensed shared housing suggests that at least 375,000 such tenants are in homes with a potentially life-threatening fault.
Tamara Sandoul, Housing Policy Manager at CIEH, said: “Far too many people are living in unsafe conditions, especially in the private rented sector. Improving dangerous housing should be a key priority for the Government.
Local authorities should allocate adequate resources to housing teams to enable them to have the capacity and the expertise to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to finding rogue landlords. Whilst the size of the rented sector has increased dramatically, numbers of environmental health professionals simply have not kept pace. This must change.
CIEH wants to see the Government commit to a landlord registration scheme which would provide better information to local authorities, who are tasked with finding rogue landlords. Such schemes are already in place in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Carbon monoxide is a silent and odourless killer so tenants will not know if there is a danger. We urge the Government to introduce a requirement for carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all Private Rented Sector properties with gas-powered boilers to help save lives.”