Whether you own a house or you are renting, the quality of your home is important. If your property does not have basic housing requirements, it is not safe for you to live in the structure. In addition, disrepair in your home can cause you many problems, particularly those that seriously impact your health. Sadly though, not all homeowners and renters are aware of this. In addition, many renters do not even know that they are protected by tenant rights.
Ensuring your rented home is vermin and mould-free and has sound electrical and heating systems is crucial if you want it to be safe and secure for you and your family. Housing disrepair-related issues increase your chances of you and your family contracting illnesses and suffering mishaps, some of which are life-threatening. (For example, a fire sparked by faulty wiring.)
In some situations, particularly in social homes where renters live in one big building, such risks can affect other renters, especially if the damp and mould have spread. Can you imagine if mould growths flourish in your home? Allergic reactions and severe lung problems are just two possible problems you might have to contend with.
Housing Disrepair-Caused Health Problems
If you rent, part of your responsibility as a tenant is to be aware of the possible issues that might arise if your home is not fit for living. Here are seven of the health problems that the Housing Health and Safety Rating System or HHSRS has listed as effects of damp, mould, pests, faulty central heating, structural problems, gas leaks, and other neglected property damage:
Allergies, Respiratory Conditions, And Cardiovascular Illnesses
Damp and mouldy areas, dust mites, humidity and the presence of organic compounds can cause allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. Chemicals or organic compounds like formaldehyde, found in some household items, can also lead to skin, nose, and eyes irritation and drowsiness, nausea, and headaches.
You and your family members can also develop respiratory conditions if your heating system is faulty. Specific health problems include bronchitis and pneumonia. In some severe cases, stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular illnesses are other possible consequences.
If manufactured mineral fibres (or MMF) and asbestos fibres are present in your home, prolonged exposure to such elements can lead to lung damage.
Disrepair in the home is a sanitary issue. If it is not attended to right away, it can lead to intestinal and stomach diseases. In addition, broken drainage or busted water system and contaminated water supply will expose you to viruses, parasites, chemical pollutants, and bacteria. These can lead to fatigue and dehydration, among others.
Other disrepair issues that may cause intestinal and stomach diseases include substandard construction, poor design, improper waste management, pest infestation, and unhygienic storage and food preparation facilities.
Certain housing disrepair problems, such as smoke, lead ingestion, and excessive carbon monoxide levels, may cause breathing problems and poisoning. Lead poisoning can have severe effects on your health, including mental health-related issues and nervous disorders.
If your basement has ongoing disrepair, water leaks aren’t the only problems you need to worry about. It is not commonly known, but radon, a radioactive gas, may seep through gaps, cracks, and construction joints and contaminate the area. When you are exposed to this odourless and colourless gas, you can develop lung cancer. The longer your radon exposure is, the higher your chances of getting the disease.
Depression And Anxiety
Housing disrepair increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues. One that has very little space and is too crowded is a contributing factor. Lack of natural lighting and noise pollution are the other causes.
Homes with damaged stairs, flooring, balconies, ramps, showers and baths, and windows can be dangerous. Uneven and/or unstable surfaces can cause accidents. Certainly, injuries sustained at home are common. The World Health Organization reports that 37.3 million falls are serious enough to warrant attention from medical professionals every year.
Burns And Electric Shock
Unattended faulty wiring can cause health-related problems like scalds, burns, electric shock, and in some cases, death.
How To Avoid Health-Related Housing Disrepairs
If you think you have disrepair in your home, you have to document every issue that you find. Then, send the photos, videos, and other documents to your landlord. Informing your landlord about such problems is important if you want them resolved right away.
However, if your landlord keeps ignoring the repair requests you reported, you must find disrepair experts who can help you. This is the best way to ensure you and your family members are safe and protected from health-related problems caused by housing disrepair.
If you need more information about housing disrepair and its effects on you and your loved ones, get in touch with the experts at Disrepair Claim.