Annual costs for home repairs in many areas of the UK are breaching the financial boundaries of an increasing number of homeowners. With repair costs as high as £24,000 and increasing, many homeowners are simply unable to fit the bill. The big repair jobs such as old electrics and repairing bad plumbing left ignored lead to bigger issues for homeowners at an increasing rate in the UK.
Further compounding the issue is the plight hitting renters as found last year. Many in rented accommodation face housing conditions that require fixing that get ignored due to the high costs.
A report by HOA found that ‘almost 4 in 10 of those renting are stuck in cold, damp properties with landlords unwilling to do basic repairs and maintenance. More than a third of British renters have trouble getting their landlord to carry out essential repairs (39%); live in cold and damp properties (38%) and have anti-social neighbours (36%).’
The average British family is living in a state of disrepair, according to new research that has found that homeowners believe their houses require repairs to the average cost of more than £24,000. More than half of homeowners state that they are running a ‘dangerous risk’ every day in their own homes, with faulty electrics and plumbing among other problems.
The team at My Job Quote undertook the research as part of an ongoing study into the different trades that are currently the most in demand amongst British households. 2,581 British homeowners took part in the poll, all of whom were 18 or over and owned a property which they lived in for a minimum of 5 years and shared with at least one child.
Associated costs with owning a home, freehold or leasehold, places enough pressure on many homeowners to forego important repair costs. Many turn to remortgaging or loans to fit the repair bills then take stepsto find the best tradesman.
First, all the homeowners taking part were asked to identify from a list of any repairs jobs their homes currently required, revealing that 48 per cent of homeowners had ‘dodgy plug sockets’, 43 per cent had ‘frozen or leaky taps’ and 31 per cent stated that their home featured ‘broken windows’.
In terms of bigger concerns, 51 per cent confessed that they believed that there were ‘potentially dangerous risks’ in their home, with ‘faulty electrics’ (24 per cent) and an ‘outdated plumbing system’ (16 per cent) noted as the most common worries. By comparison, just 11 per cent stated that they had ‘no repair requirements at all’ in their homes.
All relevant respondents were then asked how much they believed they would have to spend in order to get their house in full working order, with all repairs conducted to a good standard, to which the average answer was £24,200.
When asked if they had experienced any dangers in their home due to the state of disrepair, 29 per cent had ‘slipped, tripped or fallen’, 24 per cent had come into contact with ‘falling items e.g. shelves or other furnishings’ and 17 per cent of relevant respondents stated that they had sustained an ‘electric shock’ in their home. A further 7 per cent stated that they had ‘fallen through floorboards’.
Finally, all respondents who stated that their house needed repairs were then asked what was delaying them getting the repairs done, to which the majority confessing that they ‘simply can’t afford’ to fix their home (74 per cent). 39 per cent stated that they ‘kept forgetting’ to get it sorted out, and 18 per cent said that they were ‘waiting for someone else in the household to fix it’.
Lisa Evans from www.MyJobQuote.co.uk said:
“This is a really serious matter. Our houses are a huge cost to us, but it seems many of us forget that the expenses don’t end after that month’s mortgage payment. Maintaining a home is a big responsibility and commitment, and one which it seems the majority of us just cannot afford. It can be very difficult to make ends meet when raising a family, but keeping a safe roof over your head has to be treated as a priority. Faulty wiring and dodgy plumbing can be life-threatening, so it’s essential that British homes are maintained to a safe standard.”
Three popular options sought by homeowners to cover the bills but cannot afford the cost themselves is the Home Improvement Agencies Scheme and the Equity Release Scheme, and through home adaptation grant schemes. If you are a disabled homeowner, do look at home grants as a prerequisite as many do. It is one thing to not have the money to pay for the repairs. It’s another issue if disability restricts you from dealing with any house issues. And many of the homeowners unable to pay for repair bills fall into this category.
The Home Improvement Agencies Scheme is a Local Authority scheme for essential repairs. Could be minor repairs like loft damage and floor holes and include all types of damage that threatens house safety. Homeowners qualify and tenants can apply if their tenancy agreement includes responsibilities towards maintenance. Those on low incomes and needing emergency and crucial repairs will likely get prioritised which leaves many in the cold.
The Equity Release Scheme also run through the Local Authority applies to homeowners aged 65 and over to qualify and again, only for essential repairs. But what you get here is actually an interest free loan. Something that most property owners want to avoid in the first instance. Though this only needs repayment when you sell the property or after your death. So, this option appeals as viable in comparison to taking out a regular loan to cover the costs. Pitfalls can occur if upon sale, the equity may be insufficient upon sale. If you are considering this option or any grant scheme, do speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The financial pressure on homeowners continues to rise each year and many repairs are never fixed leading to dangerous degradation on more properties across the UK.
If you are considering seeking help with repairs, Find a tradesman and ask for advice from professionals. Also ask friends and relatives for trusted local tradesmen in your area.