We have some of the tattiest homes in UK

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THE borough’s homes are some of the worst maintained in the country, shocking new figures have revealed.

It has the seventh highest number of houses which have been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair in Britain, according to research from the Halifax Home maintenance Monitor.

In fact, the North West as a whole is the worst kept area in the country, with more than half of the nation’s 10 worst towns or cities for dilapidated or wrecked houses hailing from the region.

The study shows more than one in 10 properties in Britain could be classed as being in disrepair or urgently requiring major improvements, while half the homes in the country need some work doing on them.

The report also casts doubt on the view of Britain as a nation of DIY enthusiasts, with 31 per cent of those surveyed saying they could only carry out basic cosmetic work on their house such as painting or grouting and feeling they lacked confidence to tackle even simple maintenance tasks.

TV DIY expert Ben Hillman said: “By making a number of small maintenance checks throughout the year homeowners can save both time and money, and ensure their home is well maintained. For example, it can cost £40 to have gutters cleaned, whereas replacing damaged gutters can cost over £550, and even more in terms of hassle.

“Cosmetic quick-fixes are often the popular choice but a lack of awareness may lead homeowners to avoid problems that could have a more serious impact.

“With older properties comes a greater need to maintain, and the research found that three quarters of properties are over 20 years old, suggesting that home maintenance should be much higher on the homeowner’s agenda.”

Around 86 per cent of those questioned said they had carried out painting or decorating on their homes and 77 per cent had assembled new furniture, but only 65 per cent said they had repaired fittings or cracks and 55 per cent had cleaned the 
gutters.

Nearly a quarter of people in the survey also admitted that they had ignored a serious home maintenance task which needed doing, and the same figure also said they had to seek help from their parents to carry out home maintenance jobs.

The main reason for neglecting work around the house was being too busy, cited by 41 per cent of respondents, while 36 per cent said they lacked the correct tools and 29 per cent feared they would injure themselves or other people.