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Warning over rental property failings

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Conflicts between tenants and buy-to-let landlords are often overstated, but there are serious issues in many rented properties.

Research from AXA Business Insurance suggested that, contrary to the many people’s perceptions, the relationships between landlords and tenants are generally positive. It said issues that arise are as a result of miscommunication or lack of understanding.

However, many problems were also uncovered. More than half (54%) of landlords had neglected to install a fire alarm and 43% did not arrange a legally required annual gas safety check.

Research found that 48% of people believed they had a good or very good relationship with their landlord.

Some 59% of renters said they paid a fair rent price and the relationship was often described as fair, helpful, responsible, trustworthy or caring.

But 68% of landlords did not organise an annual electrical inspection and 71% had not fitted a carbon monoxide alarm to the rental property.

Tenants are also worried about their rights with 85% agreeing that the government must do more to regulate the private rental sector.

Darrell Sansom, managing director at AXA Business Insurance, said that conflict between tenants and landlords were generally rare, but there were issues in the market.

“There’s clearly a lot of good-will between landlords and their tenants and our research shows that rental home horror stories and negative stereotypes are few and far between,” he said.

“Having said that, we know that more and more people are slipping into the landlord role through circumstance rather than design, and it seems that despite a positive approach and good intentions, many are simply not aware of all of their safety responsibilities.

“Good relationships are built on trust and teamwork but it’s also important to remember that as a landlord you do have an extra duty of care, a legal responsibility for gas, electrical and fire safety and an obligation to protect yourself and your tenant – so it’s important that you understand all of your responsibilities and double check you have done everything necessary to protect both people and property.”

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