New research from Cover4LetProperty has found that private landlords and property investors might be unwittingly breaking the law, and through this compromising the health and safety of their tenants.
Landlord responsibilities are vast and variable, spanning a number of issues including ensuring that the gas appliances, fittings and chimneys/flues provided for tenants are safe. This is in accordance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. However, of the tenants surveyed by the company, 6 per cent said that their boiler was last serviced over a year ago. One in five tenants were completely unaware when their boiler was last serviced.
A staggering 86 per cent of private tenants are unaware of their rights regarding the energy efficiency of their rental properties. However, a further problem is the issue that many landlords are also unaware of their responsibilities, putting themselves and their tenants at risk.
Director at Cover4LetProperty, Richard Burgess, commented on the firm’s findings: ‘While it is the responsibility of a landlord to ensure that the boiler is serviced annually – and an obligation under their landlord insurance policy – our research highlighted that 6 per cent of tenants said the last time their boiler was serviced was over a year ago. Our study also showed that just 14 per cent of tenants were aware of the new legislation relating to energy performance ratings which come in to force April this year.’
Mr Burgess issued a warning to landlords to ensure that they are fully aware of their legal obligations in running a privately rented property. He said: ‘Landlords whose properties do not meet minimum requirements for energy performance standards by April 2018 may face very stiff penalties. While we specialise in helping landlords with protecting their property portfolios, we urge them to understand their legal obligations relating to health and safety and energy efficiency.’