Students in rented housing are being let down by a small number of bad landlords and a failure by local authorities to properly enforce regulations, say the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
A new report, published today by Electrical Safety First, highlights the electrical safety concerns being faced by students in some rental properties. The RLA say that whilst good landlords will ensure that electricity circuits and fixtures are all safe, the lack of enforcement by local authorities against a minority of negligent landlords poses a risk for tenants.
Research conducted by the Local Government Information Unit and Management Journal earlier this year found that 54 per cent of local authorities believe that they are in danger of being unable to fund their statutory services. This includes environmental health departments responsible for enforcing standards in private rented housing.
The RLA is calling on landlords to take advantage of its ‘Safe and Secure Homes’ toolkit, available online, which provides clear and simple advice on how to ensure the homes they rent are safe, legal and secure. The site has been described on twitter by the charity CRISIS as a “helpful site with lots of good, practical advice.”
Landlords are also encouraged to take advantage of the training being delivered jointly by the building services accreditor, NAPIT, and the RLA, to improve understanding and awareness of electrical safety in rented housing.
Commenting, RLA Policy Director, David Smith said:
“The dangers highlighted in today’s report by Electrical Safety First are rightly already illegal.
“Rather than more regulations, the research again shows the importance of councils enforcing the wide range of powers they already have to tackle sub-standard accommodation. The sad reality is that many are too stretched to do so, leaving a minority of tenants vulnerable to sometimes unsafe accommodation.
“The RLA is doing all it can to support landlords to ensure their accommodation is safe, legal and secure. It’s time now that councils stepped up to the plate and used the powers they already have.”
- Details of the joint Local Government Information Unit/Management Journal survey of local authorities can be found at http://www.lgiu.org.uk/2015/02/19/lgiu-mj-local-government-finance-survey-the-2015-results/ .
- The RLA’s Safe and Secure Homes website is available at http://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/safe-and-secure/.
- Details of the joint NAPIT/RLA training is available at https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/courses/introduction-to-electrical-safety.shtml .