Rogue landlords are damaging families' health: Property news roundup

Plus, rent in retirement, sell your own home, and why fly the nest?

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The Independent Online

Around one in 10 renting families have suffered ill health in the last 12 months because rogue landlords failed to deal with poor conditions in their properties, says housing charity Shelter.

A survey of 4,500 private renters commissioned by Shelter and British Gas suggests that poor conditions are commonplace for renting families.

Around half said they had lived in a property with damp or mould in the past year, and a fifth say their home has electrical hazards. One in six families reported living with animal infestations including mice, ants and cockroaches.

"No family should have to live in a home that puts their health and well-being at risk, let alone face eviction just for asking their landlord to fix a problem," said Campbell Robb, Shelter's chief executive. "Yet every day, we hear from parents up and down the country living in fear that damp or gas and electrical hazards are putting their children in danger, but feeling powerless to do anything about it.

"With a bill to end revenge evictions going through parliament next month, we now have a real chance to change the law and protect renting families. We're calling on people across the country to email their MPs and ask them to vote to end this unfair practice once and for all."

Paying a mortgage or rent in retirement

Just over 30 per cent of people aged over 40 believe they will still be repaying their mortgage when they retire, and another 20 per cent think they will still be renting, says a new report from insurers Partnership.

Selling your house yourself

More than a third of homeowners polled by EstatesDirect.com believe they could do a better job of selling their house than an estate agent.

The figure rises to 43 per cent in London, with those in East Anglia the least confident (25 per cent).

"Increasing numbers of property-savvy homeowners are thinking very carefully about where their money goes when buying and selling a house, and what support they actually require," said Steve Smith founder of Poundland and chairman of EstatesDirect.com.

Home energy sins

Research from lighting manufacturer Osram suggests that the average family can save up to £300 a year by changing their light bulbs to LEDs which use less energy than traditional bulbs. The research is part of the Business in the Community's new Be Energy Aware campaign which runs until the end of the month.

Why fly the nest?

Nearly two thirds of young adults living at home say they are quite happy doing so, according to a new report from CreditExpert. Indeed, a quarter of those polled say they have no immediate plans to leave home at all.

A third said the cost of rent was the main factor in not moving out, but around 10 per cent said they lived at home simply because they enjoyed it.

The most popular reasons for moving out were freedom/independence (cited by 42 per cent), with 17 per cent moving in with a partner, and 11 per cent becoming financially stable.

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