Landlords “leave students at risk”
Landlords and letting agents of student accommodation are putting their tenants’ lives at risk by failing to fix serious safety hazards, according to new research by a safety charity.
Electrical Safety First has discovered that a worrying number of landlords and letting agents ignore safety concerns reported to them, leaving their student tenants vulnerable to electric shocks, electrical fires and even electrocution.
Research commissioned by the charity suggests that 37% of landlords and letting agents failed to fix exposed wiring when reported, 35% never rectified damp, condensation or flooding around the electrics, whilst 30% left issues with scorching around sockets and light fittings unresolved.
“These figures are unacceptable,” said Emma Apter, head of communications at Electrical Safety First. “Students should not have to compromise on safety, but these worrying figures suggest that poor landlord practice is putting lives at risk.”
An unresolved electrical hazard is something that Matthew, a student in Oxford, is unfortunately all too familiar with. After moving into a rented property, he was alarmed to discover exposed wiring where a wall socket should have been in one of the bedrooms.
Matthew reported the potentially lethal hazard to his letting agent and found that they were reluctant to take action. “I couldn’t believe how negligent letting agents could be when it came to this kind of thing. It took me many conversations over several days to convince the agent to get it fixed.”