Is your house a hazard to the NHS?

As you walk around Wimbledon have you ever wondered how it is that any house can be semi-derelict, given the cost of accommodation here these days. What were the owners thinking? Surely keeping up a property’s value just makes sense? writes Zah Azeem, Partner at Wimbledon based Chartered Surveyors Scrivener Tibbatts. 

As chartered surveyors we get to see all types of properties, in fact, around 1,000 in an average year. So, this headline really stopped me in my tracks, ‘Poor Housing in England is Costing NHS £1.4 Billion a Year.’ 

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) estimates that around 2.6 million homes are of “poor quality” and potentially hazardous to those occupying them. Simply fixing bannisters and stairs issue alone would save the NHS £219 million a year in treatment costs. 

Apparently, I million people fell down the stairs in 2018. 

Damp is also a common and costly issue for the NHS, with 75,000 homes in England suffering from the most serious dampness in 2018, according to the BRE’s report, leading to a £38 million annual bill for the NHS. In addition, there are many more homes with non-Category one dampness (less serious) which have an impact on people’s health. 

Quoted here Gillian Charlesworth, CEO, BRE, commented: “Today’s figures are a stark indicator of the impact that our nation’s housing stock is having on residents and our public services. Millions of individuals and families are living in unhealthy housing – a reality that is having a huge impact on the NHS. While progress has been made to improve the condition of housing stock in England since BRE’s last such report in 2016, a big challenge remains, and rectifying these hazards will be crucial if we are to reduce the burden on our public services. 

“Improving poor housing has multiple benefits for society as a whole, beyond those that just relate to the health of their occupants. Reduced energy costs and carbon emissions, higher property values, and local job creation opportunities are just a few of the other benefits that could come from improving the quality of England’s homes. The cost burdens currently being faced by the NHS and wider society from unhealthy housing will continue unless a targeted effort is undertaken to improve the poorest housing stock. 

“We hope these findings stimulate wider discussions at both an industry and government level to ensure that England’s housing stock is fit and safe, for the benefit of individuals, society and our public infrastructure.” 

If you would like to discuss something related to a property valuation please contact Zah direct via email at or call 020 8947 7040.