New data shows buy-to-let landlords are failing to identify and deal with major household hazards posing serious danger to tenants.
Property compliance company, VeriSmart conducted more than 60,000 inspections of rental properties over the last 12 months and found that 4,521 properties had at least one HHSRS (Housing Health & Safety Rating Assessment). In some cases, three or more of the rules were breached.
The most common problem according to the data, was a missing or faulty smoke detector, flagged at 39.5% in the HHSRS assessments. Coming in second at 25.6% was the likely possibility of falling between gaps in stairs, or between separate levels of the house.
Other hazards included electrical issues (11%), no carbon monoxide detectors (7%), issues with damp and mould (4%) structural problems and failing elements (2%).
Founder of VeriSmart, Johnathan Senior, said that the larger number of issues with missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as dangerous stairs is a huge worry. “These are classed as category one hazards and so there is no excuse to have them present in a rental property”
Senior also said: “While many landlords are providing up to scratch accommodation, it’s really quite worrying that we’re seeing so many fail to address some of the most serious hazards in the home”
“With the introduction of the Fitness for Human Habitation Act in place since the 20th March this year, along with many additional changes in legislation, landlords and their agents are now more at risk of being sued by tenants for breach of contract for unfit properties.
“It is, therefore, more vital than ever that landlords ensure their properties meet the required minimum health and safety standards.”
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