Preventing Trips and Falls within Rental Properties
By lucmin on 18th March 2021
Did you know that Landlords have a responsibility to help prevent the occurrence of trips and falls? If you did not, you are probably not the only one. Due to the introduction of The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, Landlords need to ensure that any systematic and structural defects are dealt with and remedied at the earliest opportunity. Better yet why not attempt to stop them from happening full stop? How do you do this we hear you ask? Preventative measures! Here Move outlines preventative measures you can take in order to best comply with the Act.
Preparation: before letting out a property, the landlord (or agent) should carry out a thorough risk assessment and record their findings. In the event that any risks are identified, steps should be taken to remedy these before a tenant occupies the property. Common areas where issues can arise are slipping in the bathroom on the wet floor if sufficient anti-slip mats are not provided, stairs and bannisters which have not been appropriately secured and balconies or drops which have not been secured and signposted. By carrying out a risk assessment, you are ensuring the safety of your tenants and it may also assist your insurance providers if you have undertaken the assessment.
Although somewhat obvious to most, adequate and effective lighting within a property is extremely important for both trip prevention and to allow sufficient escape routes in case of a fire. Rooms, stairwells and communal areas should be well lit to allow tenants to see any trip hazards before the trip! Bright rooms are also a huge win for tenants in any event as they tend to gravitate towards light and airy properties. You will also note that in the case of a fire, escape route should be well lit to ensure is a quick escape for the tenant.
Of course, you cannot control every eventuality and tenants do need to be mindful of their own surroundings too. They should therefore take into consideration issues such as using long extension cords or long chargers as these can be a trip hazard. However, the landlord can also bear this in mind when renovating any rooms by placing charging plugs in a convenient place such as near the side of the bed to reduce the need for long cables.
Despite a risk assessment being undertaken prior to commencement of a tenancy, Landlords should also be mindful of risks that can appear during the tenancy. Therefore, it would be prudent to conduct risk assessments between each tenancy to ensure consistency throughout. In addition, if you instruct Move to manage your lettings portfolio, you can be assured that our property management team will stay vigilant during inspections and note any risk that they can see.
Finally, we at Move appreciate our tenant’s input and understand that without such, we would be unaware of issues emerging and escalating. This is therefore reciprocated with our offering of easy and efficient property maintenance system, FixFlo. It means that tenants can easily log any maintenance issues at any time of the day – increasing the likelihood of issues being reported within a timely manner.