As accidental landlords are on the rise, AXA Business Insurance has warned that these landlords are simply not keeping up their properties and instead they are allowing them to drop into a state of disrepair. This is resulting in their tenants being in danger and them selves at financial risk.
In recent research its shown that accidental landlords i.e landlords who have inherited a rental property, or are forced to rent out their own property:
1/3 do not have their boilers checked every year.
A similar amount do not get a gas safety check carried out on an annual basis, also a legal requirement of renting a property in the UK. Each year thousands of tenants end up in hospital through carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the UK and around 50 people will die from this.
65% of landlords who’s rented properties have chimneys do not get them swept every year, as recommended. Instead less then once every year years; this can result in chimney fires, with over 6000 of these in England alone between 2011 – 2012.
1/3 of landlords in the UK are checking their rented properties electricity and electrical appliances once every 3 years. The recommendation is to have this checked by professionals every 5 years although they say you should look over everything every 12 months. Half of all the residential fires in the UK are caused by electrics and 1 person, each week, is killed by electrics.
A mere 50% of landlords in the UK check the fire alarms each year. There are many regular checks that should be carried out to keep rental properties safe for tenants.
Darrell Sansom, the MD at AXA Business Insurance has said: “Accidental landlords are, as the name suggests, people who never really intended to take on a rental property. And it seems that many are not really aware of the responsibilities that come with the role, leaving themselves and their tenants extremely vulnerable. Things like gas and electrics are potential killers and need to be taken seriously.”
The research also showed that nearly half of all the accidental landlords were also neglecting the critical areas of maintenance with the drainage and drains, guttering, pipes and insulation left unchecked for up too three years. AXA have now warned that if a landlord has not maintained these things within a rental property and it causes an insurance claim it can lead to that claim declined. This dire situation needs to be addressed; if you are a landlord, be warned.