More than 700,000 privately rented homes are failing safety standards in England. But who is to blame for the conditions in which so many people are living?
According to a recent report published by Citizens Advice, Paying a High Price for a Faulty Product, rogue landlords are making billions of pounds from 700,000 private rented homes in England with a category 1 hazard. The problems in these properties range from faulty electrics, issues with cold and damp and rat infestations.
These living conditions are unacceptable and you may think that it’s people on lower incomes that are suffering these health and safety conditions in their homes, however the report reveals 30 per cent of households living in unsafe privately rented homes have an annual income of more than £30,000, with 18 per cent earning more than £40,000 a year. Though private rented accommodation costs the most, the report implies it is most likely to have category 1 hazards at 17 per cent, compared to 12 per cent of owner-occupied homes and six per cent of social rented homes.
In England, £4.2 billion is spent every year for unsafe homes that do not meet basic legal safety standards. The report has also revealed that more than 100,000 households pay over £900 per month for an unsafe private home. Previously, Slater and Gordon professional support lawyer, Helen Heeley, blogged on the Government’s proposed ban on rogue landlords. The Housing and Planning Bill would not only see landlords added to a database of people who aren’t allowed to let properties, there would be a £5,000 fine for breaching a banning order.
Landlords’ Responsibility for Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms
In our series of blogs during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2015 we discussed the importance of checking that you have a fully functional carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm.
As well as this, we discussed why it’s essential that you employ a reputable and registered engineer when it comes to the heating appliances in your home. With approximately 670 injuries a year are caused by a lack of carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, you should ensure that your landlord has provided you with working alarms. As of 1 October 2015 this became a law, which all landlords in the UK must abide by; otherwise they could face an occupier’s liability compensation claim.
If you think that your privately-rented accommodation does not meet basic safety standards, it is recommended that you contact your landlord to highlight any concerns you have with faulty products and health and safety issues. In the event that you’re unable to resolve the matter, you should seek legal advice to find out what your options are.
Michael Hardacre is a senior personal injury solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
If you have been injured by a faulty appliance in your property or as a result of your landlord’s negligence, call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9083 or contact us online and we will call you.