Accidental landlords failing to comply with landlord law

Published: 04/12/2013

Accidental landlords are placing tenants in danger and leaving themselves financial exposed by failing to fully understand the laws surrounding the letting of property.

There are many laws landlords must following when renting out property. However with a significant number coming to the role by situation rather than choice, there is a real ignorance of all these legal requirements.

A landlord is required to have the property’s boiler and all gas appliances checked and a gas safety certificate issued every year. However a recent survey by AXA insurance found nearly a quarter of landlords (23%) only have this checked every three years.

The same survey also revealed 65% of landlords whose property has a chimney get it swept less than once every three years despite the National Association of Chimney Sweeps recommending cleaning every year. Failing to have a chimney properly cleaned increases the risk of fires; in 2011-12 there were approximately 6,000 chimney fires in England alone.

In regards to fire safety landlords must also regularly check smoke alarms and ensure any supplied furniture is fire proof. AXA found only half of landlords have checked their property’s smoke alarms in the last year.

Rob Denman, Solicitor and Head of GW LET, comments:

“It is worrying that many landlords are woefully under-prepared to let property.

“These laws are not there to make life more difficult for landlords – they are there to ensure the health and safety of tenants. Sadly thousands of people are admitted to hospital and around 50 die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year so these legal requirements really are of the utmost importance.

“This is one of the primary reasons why we set up GW LET – to offer landlords legal help and advice thus ensuring tenants are safe and landlords financially protected.”

Content correct at time of publication

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