Is Your Property Safe? Learn Your Tenant Rights For Health And Safety
If You Have Moved Into A New Property, Here Are The Laws Your Landlord Should Follow To Ensure Your Property Is Safe
For many tenants, at-home injuries can be infrequent, however, it is still crucial for tenants to know their rights if an injury happens due to a landlords negligence. It is a landlord’s responsibility before leasing a property to make sure everything is in order. Similarly, it is vital for tenants to always feel safe while renting. This includes functioning electricity, gas, and fire safety. The law even states: “a landlord must keep the property you live in safe and free from health hazards”. As a tenant, you may be eligible for compensation if an injury occurs in a rental property caused by your landlord’s carelessness.
Many landlords are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to keeping the property their leasing safe. However, it is ultimately the tenant who will suffer if an injury happens. Therefore, familiarizing themselves with their landlord’s responsibilities concerning health and hazards would benefit the tenant if they spot potential errors and risks at the property which they can inform their Landlord of.
While it is safe to use gas at home it can be extremely dangerous if there is a faulty installation. A poor installation can result in a byproduct of carbon dioxide released into the air which is very harmful to inhale and can be fatal. It is your landlord’s responsibility to examine the property for any potential signs of a gas leak.
BY LAW YOUR LANDLORD MUST
- Provide tenants with a Gas Safety Record before you move in or within the next 28 days
- Check that the gas equipment supplied is safely installed by a gas safe registered engineer
- Take the measures to hire plumbers and or gas company professionals to repair any faulty gas problems
- Have a registered engineer conduct an annual gas safety check (which should take approximately 20-30 minutes)
- Make sure the CO alarm is working (if applicable)
- Keep a record of each safety concern
While these are your landlord’s responsibilities to ensure that no gas-related issues occur in your rental property we advise you to always be vigilant at home. If there is a gas leak, these are the symptoms to look for:
- Breathing problems
- Eye and or Throat irritation
If you speculate that there is a gas leak and then these side effects occur the next step to ensure your safety is to shut down gas appliances. Then open all the windows followed by evacuating your property. And finally, call the emergency services.
Experts report that there are approximately 37,000 fire incidences that happen at home in the UK annually.
Mainly, these are caused by electrical equipment around the house, such as cooking appliances, at an estimated 48%. As a tenant, your rental property must be equipped with a working fire safety system in place provided by your landlord. This will ensure your and the safety of your loved ones. Similarly, your landlord must follow the correct fire protocols to minimize the chances of a fire occurring within their property.
By Law Your Landlord Must
- Provide smoke alarms on each storey and if applicable a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel-burning appliance (for example a coal fire or wood-burning stove)
- Follow safety regulations
- Ensure tenants have access to escape routes at all times
- Install fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is large (depending on property capacity)
- Make sure the furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe
By law, UK landlords are required to check the functionality of smoke alarms provided in their property on the first day of each new tenancy agreement. So, this means after moving in, this responsibility falls on the tenant. Not only is it crucial to check that your fire alarm is working (every month) it is also quite simple. Start by lighting a match: make sure to do this as safely as possible and in a time where there is not a lot of action happening at home. Secondly, stand below the fire alarm and allow the smoke from that match to rise. If the fire alarm goes off then you know your alarm is working.
Domestic fires are not only caused by cooking appliances. They can be caused by faulty wires. Like we said previously, it is your landlord’s responsibility to provide a safe rental property. Noticeably, incidents at home can be caused due to a period or even misuse of equipment. It is important to spot the signs that will minimize the chances of an accident happening keeping you and your family safe. Here are some things to keep an eye on the help ensure that safety:
- Look out for dimming or flickering lights
- Damaged or exposed wires
- Burning smell
- Darkened outlets or switches
If you do spot the signs of a faulty wire the next step is to contact your landlord to fix the problem. Landlords must hire a qualified electrician to fix the electrical issues unless if they themselves are also licensed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU FEEL UNSAFE AT HOME
If you are concerned about your safety in your rental property, whether it is as soon as you move in or any time after, you should always act on your concerns. The first step would be contacting your landlord. This should be done in your most preferred form of contact, calling, writing a letter, email etc. It is vital that you clearly explain to your landlord what your safety concerns are. Unlike property repairs, which can take a couple of weeks to happen, health and hazard repair happen at a rapid pace. As well as that you can speak to your local council, they can provide you with great service and assistance to your concerns. If you are also concerned about your property being unsafe due to damage click here to minimize the chances of property damage.
This blog post is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice.