Over half a million young adults in England are having to endure rental properties so squalid that it is likely to leave tenants requiring medical attention, an analysis of government figures has revealed.

An estimated 338,000 properties rented by people under the age of 35 have been deemed to be hazardous and likely to cause harm, blighted by serious issues such as leaking roofs, mouldy walls, exposed electrical wiring, broken locks and even rat infestations.

Dan Wilson, director of the Generation Rent campaign group, commented that with young adults generally having very little option but to rent from a private landlord, a decent home should be the minimum expected return for the price paid.

Figures suggest that between both private and social sector rentals, over one million properties housing as many as 2.4 million people in England are living in properties with category 1 hazards; hazards that pose a serious threat to health or safety.

The East and West Midlands are the worst affected regions, alongside the North-West of England, where 1 in 5 rental properties are suffering from a category 1 hazard.

Since April this year, landlords have faced fines up to £30,000, as well as the possibility of banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders, with a database containing convicted rogue landlords and letting agents.

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