Buy online or call us Free on 0800 515 3810800 515 381

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri 8:30am to 8pm
Sat 9am to 1pm

Letting and Carbon Monoxide

When it comes to the safety of tenants within a property, landlords are responsible. This means making sure all potential hazards are serviced and well maintained, especially with appliances that produce carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is around us all the time and is one of the most poisonous gases. However, twenty people a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning and many of these accidents are happening in properties that have been let out. Many landlords are unsure of their responsibilities as the tenant is the one actually living in the property. However, every landlord has a responsibility when it comes to carbon monoxide and their tenants.

Places Carbon Monoxide is Found

Every property has carbon monoxide in small amounts which are harmless but it’s in larger quantities that cause poisoning. Carbon monoxide is often found around burning flames so before a tenant moves into your property; make sure you have properly serviced all these appliances. Boilers and furnaces are the most common sources of carbon monoxide. This is because they can easily be fitted incorrectly and without a proper chimney or a pipe to extract the fumes.

The most common places for carbon monoxide to appear are in flats that face inwards. This is because they are often poorly ventilated. If you are renting a property like this, make sure you take more regular checks to ensure the safety of your tenants.

Relying on Others

For many landlords, letting property is a full time job and once they’ve arranged their landlord insurance quote, they will have to arrange a lot of other work to take place as often they won’t be qualified to fit furnaces or boilers. This means professionals need to be called in. As a result the responsibility of fitting them properly is down to the person installing them. Be sure to ask lots of questions so you can be sure that they know what they are doing. If you feel they haven’t done a good job, get a second opinion from another professional; don’t run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Protection

One the of cheapest and easiest ways of ensuring against carbon monoxide poisoning is by having a warning device somewhere in the property, near to the appliance in question. This systems sounds an alarm when excess carbon monoxide is sensed in the property and the tenants can then leave the property to safety before any harm is caused.

Make sure your tenants are safe and don’t cut corners. Carbon monoxide is something that we all come into contact with daily but in large amounts it can be fatal. Don’t risk the lives of tenants if all it takes is a simple service.

UK Burglaries and Properties

It is important to research the surrounding area of the property you are interested in, so you can be sure it is likely to be left unharmed. High crime rates can have a negative impact not only on the safety of your property, but its value too and the appeal to tenants or buyers. It can be extremely difficult to attract tenants to your rental home if it’s in an area notorious for violence and burglaries.

However, even if a house is based in the nicest of areas, the risk still remains. High profile places or extravagant looking buildings can tempt criminals and with a combination of opportunism and the element of surprise – anyone in any home can become the victim of a burglar. Therefore it is important to take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of your property being burgled, regardless of location.

Preventative Measures

As mentioned previously, most burglaries are opportunistic rather than premeditated. So if a property is unoccupied, it would be best practice to regularly visit it at irregular times. That way, your visiting patterns can not be monitored easily.

Steps a landlord can take include installing a visible burglar alarm, putting locks on bedroom doors for student houses and having quality locks on windows and external doors.
Tenants can keep their valuables out of sight, make sure all windows and doors are locked when the house is empty, keep garden sheds or outbuildings locked when not in use, prevent leaving spare keys outside the property and promptly collecting all post and milk deliveries.

Equally as important as the points mentioned above, is the protection of a good insurance policy. In addition to having insurance for your property, landlords should also invest in landlord insurance in case they fall victim to criminal acts by their tenants.

Burglary in the UK

The Home Office put together a table of statistics, looking at different crime rates throughout the country in 2011. Using this information, you can identify the areas more likely to experience burglaries. However this data cannot completely confirm living in a particular area can guarantee your home will not be a target.

Probably the least surprising result is that London has the highest number of residential burglaries, 62,901 to be exact. West Yorkshire, in the Yorkshire and the Humber region, was the second highest with 20,180, followed by Greater Manchester’s 16,887. Wales and the North East region had the lowest levels of burglaries. Gloucestershire experienced the largest percentage increase in burglaries by 28% while Nottinghamshire had the largest percentage fall by 38%.

Despite these concerning statistics there is no need to live in fear. Taking the appropriate preventative measures mentioned here as well as those given by the police, can help minimise the risks. If any crime involving your property occurs you should report it to the police immediately – as with any other crime.

Now in the words of Crimewatch UK – “Don’t have nightmares, do sleep well.”

Lighting and Landlords

So far this week we’ve blogged about the importance of internet access and televisions within the modern home and today we are very much in keeping with the week’s theme of electronic necessities by discussing lighting.

Having lights that work in a property is, of course, an obvious point. However, what I’m specifically getting at is the effect that different lighting can have on a home.

Spotlights

A particular favourite type of lighting for me is spotlights. They create a modern, stylish effect however they can be a hassle if any of the bulbs blow. Finding the correct replacement bulb, in my experience, can take some hunting around!

Furthermore, many properties these days will be fitted with environmentally friendly efficient bulbs. These are fantastic, not only for the environment, but for your wallet also as they are cheap and last a long time! Perhaps spotlights in the living room and bedroom, and energy efficient bulbs in the other rooms for me…

Adjusting the Brightness

In addition, it’s always great to be able to adjust the brightness of a room’s lighting. Some would suggest that “mood lighting” is always good fun, however, that, for me, is all a little clichéd. I instead like to call it a dimmer switch. Sometimes, after a long days work, when you’re eyes are a little sore and you’re feeling tired, it’s nice to be able to dim the lights in order to create a softer effect.

Selling Point

Many landlords, I’ve noticed, have in recent years turned to installing spotlights when renovating properties. I’ve lived in a number of properties where the spotlights have been a particular selling point because of the look and feel of them in the room. Many landlords therefore, in my experience at least, enjoy offering spotlights as something a bit more luxurious. Many landlords may also provide additional table lamps. However, when supplying such additions in your property, then it may be worth including such details when applying for landlord insurance quotes.

Of course electrical safety is of paramount importance to landlords and tenants and if you are to provide additional lamps then it will be important to ensure they are wired correctly and that the warning labels are still attached to the items.

That goes for the television and the internet box too.

Property investors in the States reminded of their duties

Landlords in the USA are well accustomed to taking out property damage insurance, the number of cases brought against rogue tenants every year in the States numbers millions. Property owners and property managers also come in for their fair share of criticism too but a directive from the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in one city is trying to ensure the management of property and the behaviour of tenants is brought under control.

Help to eradicate criminal element offered to landlords

In Wilmington, the number of properties estimated to be operating under private rental agreements is 16,000, approximately half of the properties in the city. Law officers and city officials have long been concerned that a large majority of the crime committed in the city emanates from tenants of the private lets and now the fathers of the town are offering landlords the chance to fight back. Crimes committed by tenants in their properties cam impact on landlords in more ways than one, and they are being encouraged to escape prosecution under the Delaware Nuisance Abatement Act which stipulates it is a landlord’s responsibility to prevent crime from being committed from his property, by being more alert to the activities of their tenants.

New course well attended

About 75 landlords and property managers attended the first course offered by the AGO where they were taught how to look out for signs of illegal activity being carried out in their properties, drug running, drug growing (a thriving business) and prostitution are all rife in some areas of the City and many citizens groups say the problem is exacerbated by absent landlords. The landlords were also reminded that not running tenant criminal background checks could affect any property insurance claims if damage caused by criminal activity occurred.

Course not compulsory but…

The courses are all undertaken voluntarily but the AGO have made it plain to landlords that if landlords who fail to undertake the course find themselves facing prosecution under the state’s Drug Nuisance and Social Vice’s Abatement Act then they can expect little leniency. The nuisance abatement programme has already forced 125 properties to be rehabilitated with at least 16 more closed down because of the danger to the health and welfare of the surrounding community. The AGO is talking tough on this subject but appears to have the full backing of the law abiding population of the city.