Many accidental landlords 'are breaking the law'

by Sarah Ashcroft

The number of accidental landlords operating in the UK is on the rise, with many of them known to be breaking the law.

New research by AXA has found that people who are renting out their home having originally bought it with no intention to do so are flouting a number of key regulations that govern the rental sector in the UK.

For example, a third of those questioned by the company admitted that they get their boilers checked less than once a year, with 23 per cent suggesting that they have the machine inspected every three years of less.

It's a legal requirement to carry out a check of a boiler in a rented property every year, so failure to do so could be putting tenants at unnecessary risk.

A similar number of accidental landlords were found not to get their gas appliances inspected by an expert each year, which is also a legal requirement in rental properties.

This is despite statistics on the matter revealing that thousands of people around the UK end up in hospital each year as a direct result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Some 50 individuals will even lose their lives as a result of the issue.

Further findings included the revelation that 65 per cent of people with a chimney get it swept less than once every three years, while almost a third check their electrics with the same regularity. This is despite the National Association of Chimney Sweeps recommending that work is completed once a year.

With half of all domestic fires in the UK caused by faulty electrics, landlords - accidental or otherwise - must keep an eye on this issue.

Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance, said: "We would urge all landlords to check out and understand their obligations and responsibilities to their tenants and how they need to insure themselves against the worst happening."

Landlords are advised to consider issues such as providing fire-proof furniture, fire extinguishers and adequate escape routes.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801667849-ADNFCR

Published on: December 2, 2013

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