The recent case of a landlord hit with a £2,745 court bill for letting a dangerous property highlights the need for all landlords and agents to ensure that their properties are safe to live in. Unfortunately, all too often, landlords and agents neglect potentially dangerous and life threatening hazards, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
The most common dangers found in properties are severe damp and mould; bare wiring, broken glass and holes in the ground; dilapidated sheds; overgrown gardens with concealed barbed wire, broken glass and holes in the ground; large wardrobes and cupboards not securely fixed to the wall; unserviced and faulty boilers; damaged and leaning brick walls; no keys for window locks and no smoke alarms fitted.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, comments: “We have seen no end of dangerous hazards in a range of properties from radiators, sinks and other fixings pulling away from walls, to window blinds and curtain rails falling off when these items are tested. In one recent property, a clerk was checking in a tenant and needed to check a large wooden venetian blind. With one touch of the controls the whole thing fell down, the full weight hitting the clerk on the head with such force that he was later diagnosed with concussion”.
Many families and young children are at risk from negligent landlords, all of whom have a ‘duty of care’ and should be making regular visits to properties to check on health and safety. They should also respond quickly when a tenant notifies them of any problems in the property so they can be sorted quickly. At Sewell & Gardner we carry out regular property inspections as part of our management service and highlight areas that should be attended to for both parties.
Source: Landlord & Buy-to-Let Magazine