10:15 AM, 25th April 2022, About 2 years ago 14
I’ve just read an article by Nearly Legal, based on a parliamentary report he had read, and I wondered about the statistics being quoted, e.g. 13% of private rented homes have a category 1 hazard.
I clicked on the link to the parliamentary report and it gives this percentage as an ESTIMATE. Looking deeper it says it is based on another report (by the NAO), so I looked at that and that too is based on an estimate. Further on in the NAO report, it says that the figure is from an analysis of data from the English Housing Survey, which appears, to take their figures from the data estimates supplied by local authorities based on inspections carried out by local authorities.
The 13% figure appears to be an average percentage of private rented properties that have been inspected by local authority inspectors that were found (upon inspection) to have category 1 hazards, i.e. NOT a snapshot of all private rented properties.
Of course, the properties actually inspected by councils are not a snapshot of all private rented properties, they are only the ones that have been reported (usually by tenants) to the local authority as having hazards.
This would indicate that as perhaps 95% of private rented properties are not inspected by the local authority, and in most likelihood may have no category 1 hazards (otherwise councils would be inspecting them), then the 13% figure cannot possibly be fairly said to apply to all private rented sector homes.
I don’t know what percentage of the total is actually inspected, but if for example it is 5% that are inspected (95% not inspected), then the number of private rented properties ACTUALLY FOUND TO HAVE Category 1 hazards, would be 13% of the 5% = 0.65% of the total.
Simply saying “13% of private rented homes have a category 1 hazard” would be a gross and dishonest distortion of the facts, if, as seems to be the case, the figures are based on the LA’s estimated percentage of private rented properties they’ve inspected which have then been found to have category 1 hazards.
Although there may be a few with category 1 hazards that are never brought to the attention of the local authority, the number is likely to be small, as a category 1 hazard is a serious defect that the vast majority of tenants would report. It may therefore be more like 1 – 1.5%, rather than 0.65% of private rented homes that have a category 1 hazard, but it is certainly nowhere near the 13% that is being reported to parliament (and upon which they will base future housing policies, and additional regulations to impose upon private landlords).
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