The negative health impacts associated with renting could be greater than those associated with unemployment or being a former smoker, a study has found. Source: 9news.com.au.
The University of Adelaide and the University of Essex research found that renting in the private sector, rather than owning a property, leads to faster biological ageing.
The study used data from 1420 adults in the UK, taking into account tenure, building type, government financial support, heating and location.
Amy Clair, from Adelaide University’s Centre for Housing Research, said health impacts should be an important consideration in shaping housing policies.
“Policies to reduce the stress and uncertainty associated with private renting, such as ending ‘no-grounds’ evictions, limiting rent increases and improving conditions may go some way to reducing the negative impacts of private renting,” she said.
“There are many similarities between the housing policy approaches of the UK and Australia – private renters in both countries have very limited security of tenure and face high costs.
“It is therefore likely that private renters in Australia might also experience accelerated biological ageing.”
Researchers thought it was likely insecurity and poor affordability of private rentals was driving the link between renting and biological ageing.
They found the effects were potentially reversible if health interventions were implemented.
The study was based on an all-white European population, which the researchers acknowledge may have limited their findings.
Health impacts from renting ‘worse than being a former smoker’: study (By Lucy Slade, 9news.com.au)