Landlords are leaving themselves exposed to the risk of criminal and civil prosecution by failing to conduct critical safety checks and taking a back seat on maintenance, a survey of renters has revealed.
The study by property management platform Plentific found that a surprisingly high proportion of landlords aren’t meeting their legal responsibilities regarding gas safety and that in some cases, tenants are handling maintenance and repairs.
The survey of 1,000 tenants found that:
- 46% of private tenants don’t believe their gas appliances have been checked in the last year.
- 52% of private tenants don’t have a gas safety certificate.
- 56% of private tenants don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm.
What the law says
Annual gas safety checks must be carried out at all rental properties by a qualified engineer and all tenants should receive a copy of the subsequent safety report.
Landlords who fail to meet these obligations could face prosecution – and be fined or imprisoned.
Furthermore, landlords could wind up embroiled in a civil suit if a tenant is injured or killed in a fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning at the property.
Other maintenance issues
The survey also looked at how landlords respond to maintenance concerns raised by tenants.
About 40% of private renters said requested works were completed within three days, although overall, the average was ten days.
Issues raised included damage to the garden (26%), property damage (24%), maintenance (21%), and electrical problems (20%).
Worryingly, 37% of renters said they had organised repair works themselves (20% with permission from the landlord, and 16% without).
We would advise landlords in High Wycombe to oversee maintenance and repairs (or to entrust a property expert like a letting agent to handle it) to ensure that work is done to a safe standard for a fair price.
Faulty work could result in further problems down the line or damage to your property that proves costly to rectify.
Managing your responsibilities
Being a landlord comes with a host of legal responsibilities. If staying on top of all the paperwork and red tape feels overwhelming then you could benefit from working with a reputable letting agent like us. We can shoulder the burden for you and will advise you expertly and honestly.
Let us take the stress out of managing the property and use our experience to make your life a whole lot easier.
Please get in touch with us here at Kingshills if you have any questions about property management.
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