According to figures by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, every year around 6000 deaths are caused by home accidents in the UK. With legislation in place to safeguard renters’ safety, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure all risks are minimised. Arthur explores a landlords’ responsibilities and tips to ensure further tenant safety.
Basic landlord responsibilities:
Every private landlord must meet a series of basic legal responsibilities. These include:
- fitting a smoke alarm on each floor of a property
- fitting a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing solid fuel appliances
- ensuring all alarms work at the start of a new tenancy
- carrying out gas safety checks on a yearly basis.
Landlords are also expected to keep the electricity supply in good working conditions. It is their responsibility to provide sufficient and appropriately situated electricity sockets to prevent overloading and excessive use of extension leads. Additionally, visual checks of electrical appliances should be carried out to provide extra protection.
In case of localised fires, fire blankets must be provided in the kitchen in addition to appropriately documented fire safety escape routes.
Additional steps to protect your tenants:
In addition to the legislated requirements, there are many improvements landlords can implement to ensure additional safety for their tenants.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents provides further guidelines for those landlords that wish to go the extra mile in safeguarding their tenants. Amongst the suggestions, there is mention for additional carbon monoxide alarms. The guidelines suggest they should be fitted in all properties featuring gas appliances, not just those where there are solid fuel appliances.
Another common area tenants fall victim to are trip and falls which are often the result of loose rugs, damaged handrails, and poorly lit stairs. Including these areas into quarterly inspections and repairs after the end of a tenancy, are a great way to reduce the risks faced by your tenants.
The safety of children cannot be understated. The most common risk children face comes from falls from height. This can be mitigated for by providing stair gates and windows restrictors to ensure they open to no more than 100mm.
The importance of tenant safety and tenant relations are more important than ever, and quite often is the deal breaker in ensuring harmonious tenant relations! Are your rental homes complying to standards?