A MILLION HOMES NOT FIT TO LIVE IN; Scandal of tenants forced into squalor; EXCLUSIVE.
Byline: KEIR MUDIE Deputy Political Editor
MILLIONS of Britons are stuck in ramshackle rented homes which are unsafe to live in - and are powerless to do anything about it.
Some are in fire risk deathtraps like London's Grenfell Tower, where 71 people died last year.
Many other homes are riddled with health-sapping damp and have poor insulation.
Around one million homes fall below the proper standard. Now Labour MP Karen Buck is introducing a bill this month in an attempt to give power back to tenants.
And the Sunday Mirror is joining the campaign to ensure homes are fit - and safe.
It's homes Mrs Buck, whose party uncovered the figures, said: "It is beyond scandalous that people are in properties unfit for human habitation. We see properties riddled with damp and mould. People are living in unbelievable conditions - with black walls, with water dripping from the walls.
"In some places the air is almost impossible to breathe with the damp spores. Excess cold and damp and mould are the biggest examples of this.
"It creates and makes health problems worse and destroys people's furniture and clothing."
The English Housing Survey shows 16.8 per cent of private tenanted properties have Category 1 HHSRS hazards - classed as a serious risk to health. They include poor fire safety, inadequate heating, or poor ventilation causing condensation and mould growth.
Of 756,000 households in the private sector at least 36 per cent contain children. A further 244,000 social tenanted properties have Category 1 hazards.
Landlords have no obligation to keep the property fit for habitation. They are obliged to repair the structure and major installations. But that only applies where something is broken or damaged.
The bill would give tenants powers to force the landlord to rectify issues that make the property unfit - and seek compensation when the proprietor fails to do so.
Polly Neate, CEO of housing and homelessness charity Shelter, said: "If the Government is serious about protecting renters and stopping rogue landlords in their tracks then it must urgently support the bill."
COMMENT: PAGE 14
It's beyond scandalous, homes are dripping and riddled with mould KAREN BUCK LABOUR MP BATTLING FOR TENANTS
LIME GRIME Mould creeps across walls and celing of mum Jessica's grim bathroom
To lend your support visit www.bit.ly/rent-m to the campaign and Tweet your MP