House prices are dictated by a range of factors, some within your control and some that unfortunately aren’t. The three main things that people look for when buying a new home are location, cost and condition, with the cost being largely determined by the other two factors.
Before putting their homes on the market, homeowners will want to make sure their properties are in the best condition possible, with all of the desirable conveniences and none of the doom-spelling issues like damp problems or structural damage.
By simply upgrading the main rooms in your home, you can make it a much more desirable proposition to potential buyers, adding huge value on to the price-tag in the process. For instance, installing a brand new kitchen or installing some fresh and modern decorative mouldings can give your home a spark you never knew it had.
However, what you can’t change is the location of your property. Depending on where you live, you could be selling an almost identical property for a fraction of its objective value. While local amenities like schools and transport links can boost the value of a property, negative factors like crime rates and the perceived cleanliness of an area can cause them to plummet.
With this in mind, we at Buildworld were curious to find out which parts of the country have the worst problems when it comes to local cleanliness, so we conducted a study and have listed our findings of the cleanest and dirtiest places in the UK to live. Areas are ranked based on the number of dirty houses 2016-2020, fly-tipping incidents 2019/20 and Google searches in the last twelve months for house problems.
In response to residential complaints about fly tipping and dirty, derelict or verminous houses across the country, the government has introduced some programmes to clean England’s neighbourhoods.
In 2021, the government allocated £57.8 million to local councils to develop derelict land into quality residential housing to boost communities. This year the government also introduced the new Right to Regenerate which allows members of the public to convert vacant plots of land and derelict or abandoned buildings into homes or community spaces.
These initiatives aimed at cleaning streets and resolving common housing problems hope to make dirty neighbourhoods more inviting and attractive for residents.
Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests (FOIs) were sent to 83 Local Authorities operating across the UK. 44 of the local authorities responded with data indicating the number of dirty, derelict or verminous properties from 2016-2020.
A list of 72 search terms related to common house problems, such as ‘damp in home’ and ‘leaking ceiling’, was compiled. The number of searches for each city and borough in the past 12 months was recorded using Google Keyword Planner.
The fly tipping incidents and actions taken, reported by local authorities in England 2012/13 to 2019/20 dataset was used to find the total number of fly-tipping incidents in residential areas and back alleys for each city and borough. Around 13% of all local authorities provided figures based solely on customer and staff reports, accounting for any data discrepancies.
We then gave each town, city or borough a normalised score out of ten on each factor, before taking a final average score across all factors.