Landlords are being warned three new models of washing machines are being recalled by Whirlpool due to fire risk.
An overheating door mechanism means that hundreds of thousands of machines are at risk of catching fire – many of which may be installed in privately rented properties.
About 20% of the Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines sold since 2014 are affected by the safety fault and are being recalled by the manufacturer.
In total 79 fires are thought to have been caused by an overheating door locking system, a fault which develops over time, according to Whirlpool, which owns the brands.
The model numbers of the appliances which have been added to the list, three weeks after the initial recall launch are:
In all 524,000 are subject to the recall
What do I need to do
Whirlpool has set up a model checker online. There is also a free helpline, open every day, available on 0800 316 1442.
Anyone with a Hotpoint or Indesit washing machine bought since October 2014 will need to enter the model and serial number of their appliance – found inside the door or on the back – to see if it is one of those affected.
Those who have previously checked, and been given the all clear, may need to check again.
As a landlord you would be advised to check the machine yourself to ensure the safety of your tenants.
If your washing machine is one of those affected, you should unplug it and wait for it to be repaired or replaced by the company.
Whirlpool has offered free repairs or replacements, with slots available right away.
As a landlord you have no obligation to provide an alternative washing machine in the meantime, although you could offer a discount on the rent as a goodwill gesture.
What does the company say?
Jeff Noel, vice president of Whirlpool, said: “With more than 30% of the affected products now accounted for, this campaign has already surpassed the UK average for a product recall campaign by a significant margin.
“While this is good progress, we know there is still work to do. That’s why we are working seven days a week to look after our customers and running a widespread campaign to raise awareness.
“We are deeply sorry to our customers for the inconvenience this recall may cause but we are taking action because it is the right thing to do for people’s safety. We will do whatever it takes to put the situation right.”
The company has already been dealing with the recall of more than five million tumble dryers, sold over a period of 11 years, which were found to be a fire hazard.
You can read more about electrical safety and white goods in rental properties in this article, first published in the RLA members’ magazine Residential Property Investor.
For more information with regards to your obligations as regards fire safety click here.