Health, Home Improvement

Is Your Landlord Keeping You Safe?

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

There are many benefits to the renting life.  Upfront costs are substantially less than they would be when buying. Most times, a landlord will ask only for a deposit and a month’s rent in advance. As such, this is a ready-made living situation without years of saving.

Renting also saves on responsibility. You won’t need to worry about maintenance or breakdowns. Your landlord will take care of it. It’s easy to see, then, why more of us are opting to rent long-term. This won’t provide the benefit of owning your own home. But, many would argue it’s worth that price. In most instances, even a lifetime of renting won’t come close to homeownership expenses.

But, this option isn’t all plain sailing, especially when dealing with neglectful landlords. If your landlord doesn’t have your wellbeing in mind, you could find yourself in a constant struggle. This is especially the case when they fail to take health and safety into account. You can even start to feel at risk. Obviously, that isn’t ideal, especially when you have a family to consider.

Are you worried your landlord is neglecting their health and safety duties? Here are some sure warning signs, and what you can do about them.

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Your landlord never checks maintenance issues

As mentioned, having a landlord tackle maintenance is a huge benefit of renting. In reality, you shouldn’t have to think about home maintenance at all. But, that isn’t always the case. In some instances, landlords neglect to check maintenance on a regular basis. This obviously compromises your safety. Unchecked issues in the home can cause fires, gas leaks, and much more.

To make matters worse, some landlords don’t respond when tenants notify them of issues. Problems then grow, until your landlord tries to pin the blame. They may claim you caused the problem, or that you didn’t warn them about it and so should pay damages.

But, how can you cover your back in situations like these? For one, you should take note of any maintenance checks your landlord does do. Make notes of times and dates and keep them somewhere safe. In that same notebook, write issues your landlord neglects or doesn’t respond to. Again, write times and dates, and precisely what you say. It’s also worth keeping messages on your phone or in your email account so that you have the evidence to turn to. What’s more, you should pay particular attention to problems which compromise safety. Things such as plumbing and electricity are especially crucial here. If your landlord ignores checks like these, it may be worth taking your issue higher to ensure you aren’t at risk. Your landlord is legally liable, so you’re well within your rights to take action if you feel the need.

Inadequate safety measures

If your landlord provides inadequate safety measures, they are again neglecting their responsibilities. If they fail to provide fire alarms or escapes, you can be sure they aren’t following their duty of care. After Grenfell fire in the UK last year, your landlord should also ensure the building adheres to fire safety standards. That means they must use fire retardant materials at all times. All of these measures are essential for keeping your home safe. And, they’re all responsibilities which fall on your landlord’s shoulders.

If your landlord neglects anything like this, it’s essential you take action. In fact, you should see this as a matter of urgency. Even going one night without a fire exit could lead to disaster. As such, it’s essential that you contact your landlord until they tackle this issue. You should also keep communicating with them until they provide you with adequate alarms, or reimburse you for alarms you buy yourself. Again, you’re well within your rights to take legal action here if you feel unsafe. In extreme cases where no fire escape route is provided, you may even have to move out of the property. In that instance, keep all your receipts, and make sure you’re refunded the extra money. And, whatever you do; don’t move back until your landlord provides you with a safe living space.

Renovation works which impact you

Often, a landlord will own a whole apartment complex. As such, your landlord may carry out renovation work elsewhere in the building. And, when they do, they may not even think about how it impacts you. But, again, health and safety come into play here. This is especially the case if the work that’s happening is on your floor.

One significant risk is that or dangerous tools. If you have kids in the home, work like this is far from ideal. Hence why it’s crucial that your landlord gives you adequate warning of the work and keeps to sociable hours. If renovations continue into the night, you can be sure your landlord isn’t following regulation.

What’s more, there are generalized safety issues with renovations in older buildings. Your landlord may not have considered it, but it’s essential that you do. Materials such as lead paint and asbestos were often used in older buildings. And, these can become real health risks when disturbed. If this is likely to happen, your landlord should provide alternative accommodation. They could even use a company like Schemel Tarrillion who can complete work without risk. If your landlord doesn’t take it upon themselves, it may be down to you to learn about Schemel-Tarillion and other companies like them. You should also make sure your landlord is aware of their responsibilities when it comes to such possibilities.

A final word

Living under a landlord like those mentioned above is far from easy. But, tackling these issues in the right way can ensure that they’re living up to their responsibility. If you have problems on a regular basis, it may be worth working closely with a lawyer. With enough evidence, you may be in a position to bring a claim against the landlord in question. That way, you can at least ensure future tenants aren’t at risk.

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