Film ID:
NEFA 21796



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A Tyne Tees Television news report with Phil McDonnell transmitted 31 March 1967 on a rent tribunal decision to reduce the rent on a derelict attic room in a slum property in Newcastle, rented to a Matthew Maddison. The report opens with interior views of the derelict state of the room followed by an interview with Mr Maddison about living here and the tribunal decision.

The report opens with Matthew Maddison sitting on a bed in his attic room in a five bedroomed house. The ceiling sags and there are signs of damp and mould. Mr Maddison pays 22s 6d a week for the room which has been described by the rent tribunal as ‘nothing more than a lean-to in the rafters’. Seven families share one toilet and the only bath is useless.

In the corner is a gas oven that is a fire hazard. The room is in considerable disrepair.

Reporter Phil McDonnell interviews Mr Maddison who says he has lived at the property for nine weeks. He didn’t waste any time contacting the rent tribunal after the room was assessed. He describes life here as worse than being in jail. The Chairman of the tribunal describes the room as ‘unfit for human habitation’.

He doesn’t intend to stay and would like to start looking for a new place, but doesn’t know where to start. The tribunal has reduced the rent to 3s a week. He says that he found the last property he lived at the same as he did this place, found through a National Health scheme. While the last place was dreadful, this is worse.