I think one of the biggest problems with the housing market and why everyone is clambering for a house is because it is that unsafe to rent. There are little guarantees and your only protection against the landlord is their integrity as a person and the fact if you are a good tenant that they will usually try and do right by you so they don't lose you and get a bad tenant. The problem is that still encourages them to do just enough. I've been renting for a few years now whilst I have been waiting for my house to be built. There is little protection offered and I consider myself fortunate enough to have a good landlord but I think that is partly because of the quality of house I rent. For places that are more 'replaceable' then I can imagine the situation get's a whole lot worse. One thing I would say it that everytime we have one of these threads and people say come and live by me you can get a 3 bed semi for this cheap price - I look on Rightmove and they are there! But then you look at the school checker and see "Failing" "Needs improvement" "Satisfactory" etc and you see why no parent in their right mind would actively aim to live in such a place.