Drunken tenants risk property damage

by Sarah Ashcroft

The importance of landlords carrying out a property inventory has been borne out by new figures showing the dangers posed by drunken tenants. One-third of tenants and homeowners admit they have caused a house fire, a flood or smashed valuable items as a result of being drunk at home, research from More Than shows.

In total, "dwelling under the influence" resulted in £700 million of damage to over 1.5 million UK properties.

Breaking valuable items was the most common occurrence with 3.3 million drunken incidents reported. Next was forgetting to remove keys from the lock after returning home drunk. The research found 2.2 million incidents when people left their homes open to burglary by doing this.

Matt Pernet from More Than said: "The home can be a highly precarious place for somebody with impaired judgement. If you think you are going to be drunk at home then it pays to plan ahead."

The study also shows how fire risk assessment forms are a must for landlords, with 1.16 million incidents involving people falling asleep with food cooking.

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade added: "Too many fires are started when someone has passed out and left a pizza in the oven or some bacon under the grill. If people are going to have a few drinks, whether at home or on a night out, then a takeaway is by far the safest option to satisfy any late-night cravings."

The research comes as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) warns that property inventories are becoming even more vital for landlords as tenancy agreements are lasting longer.

It found tenancies are lasting an average of 19.3 months, up 17 per cent from the 16.5 months reported by members in 2009. According to Arla, this causes more damage to properties and decreased "down time", in which landlords can carry out repairs.

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Published on: February 20, 2012

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