To really highlight how the housing crisis is affecting people and how those who provide homes can sometimes misunderstand their tenants’ living conditions, BBC 1 aired The Week the Landlord Moved In last night.
This life-swap programme showed how wealthy private landlords reacted when they lived like their tenants for a week.
The show highlighted a lot of the problems faced by many renters in today’s housing crisis.
Father and son landlords Peter and Mark were appalled to move into their tenant’s home, which was riddled with damp and mould, the taps and cooker did not work, and the heating bills were too expensive for the tenant to afford on just £54 per week.
The tenant, in her mid-60s, still worked full-time and, when she moved out to let her landlords move in for a week, she left them a note asking them not to turn on the heating in her bedroom, as she could not afford to pay the bill.
These particular landlords have a £7m property portfolio.
Positively, they renovated the tenant’s flat and offered to help if she has any problems paying her heating bills in the future – they noted that they were still making a profit.
In the second case study, a landlord moved into a room in their House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), where the living conditions were awful, including an off-putting kitchen and rats in the garden.
The landlord, Paul Preston, said his business model was all about turning properties into multi-living homes, where he could earn more money. But, after a week in a miserable bedsit, he told his tenant that he realised that his properties should be more about homes and human engagement.
Above all, the programme helped landlords understand what it’s like to live in private rental accommodation today.
If you’re a landlord, it’s vital that you ensure your tenants are living in safe, secure and comfortable homes. We advise you to stick to your duties at all times to protect the health and safety of those living in your properties.
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