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Buy to let property investors are ignoring household hazards according to the latest research from combined lettings inventory and property compliance specialists, VeriSmart.
The company conducted over 60,000 property inspections and reports on rental properties within the buy to let sector in the last year, with 4,521 of these resulting in at least one Housing Health & Safety Rating Assessment (HHSRS) per inspection for household hazards. (some with more than 3)
The following common issues were the most prevalent household hazards.
Worryingly, 40 per cent of all health and safety assessments flagged either a missing or non-functional smoke detector.
26 per cent of assessments noted a danger of falling on stairs and between or on separate levels of a house.
Electrical issues accounted for 11 per cent of all hazards flagged during health and safety assessments.
7 per cent of assessments found a lack of a working carbon monoxide detector.
Damp and Mould
Damp and mould were flagged as a risk in 4 per cent of properties.
Uncovered ponds or swimming pools posed a hazard in 2 per cent of all properties.
The threat of structural collapse or falling elements was also an issue in 2 per cent of all properties.
Fire hazards (1 per cent), excess cold (0.6 per cent) and domestic hygiene (0.6 per cent) were also an issue in a small proportion of properties.
Founder of VeriSmart, Jonathan Senior, commented: ‘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.
‘The lack of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and the danger of falling on stairs ranking as high as they do is particularly worrying. These are classed as category one household hazards and so there is no excuse to have them present in a rental property.
‘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.’