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Article > Fix Repairs In Your Rented Property Or Else ...


 


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Fix repairs in your rented property or the Housing Health and Safety Rating System Officer will come to visit - you do not want that!

Think again!
If you are a landlord who is not doing repairs at the moment and they are essential I urge you to think again! If you do not do an annual assessment of your property in a detailed way to confirm there are no health and safety risks, I urge you to stop and think!

2004 Housing Act
In 2004 the Housing Act changed the way the local council can assess the housing condition of a rented property using a risk assessment approach called the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). If your tenant feels that the property they are living in has health and safety hazards, they can call the council to have one of their officers to arrange an inspection.

The HHSRS officer will inspect a dwelling and will look for any risk of harm to an actual or potential occupier of the dwelling, which results from any deficiency that can give rise to a hazard. The officer will judge the severity of the risk by thinking about the likelihood of an occurrence that could cause harm over the next 12 months, and the range of the harms that it could result in. The officers will categorise risks to health and safety into the following:

Category 1 hazards - must be done! No ifs or buts these are dangerous hazards to your tenant which need to be done immediately.

Category 2 hazards - these come into 2 types. If this hazard could turn into a category 1 hazard then the officer will enforce repair. If not then it is a recommendation and it is up to you as the landlord if you want to get it repaired.

There are 29 separate types of hazards under the HHSRS and the most common of which are damp and mould growth, excess cold and fire.

Responsible Landlords
Responsible landlords will need and want to be able to identify those factors that may increase the likely-hood of harm to a tenant. On every property that we take on we perform a free 793 point property condition report which looks at the fixtures and fittings of a property. This has been designed to make sure your property is safe for the rental market and lists any future liabilities that you need to be aware of.

I understand that money is tight for landlords at the moment but it is essential that we provide safe properties for our tenants. Since if you don't the council could force you to do repairs which they "deem necessary" or if there is an accident you could have a claim on your landlords insurance which could lead to a large pay-out. For example we heard of a tenant falling down some stairs and a no-win no-fee solicitor hounding the landlord for a ten figure settlement, which subsequently the insurance settled. So remember stay safe.

 

How to Hire a Tradesman


Qualifications

  • Gas Safe - By law, all tradesmen must be Gas Safe registered to carry out gas work. Registered tradesmen carry a personal ID card, so check their licence number and expiry date. When tradesmen join, Rated People checks for Gas Safe certification. Only Gas Safe registered tradesmen are able to purchase these types of job.
  • Part P - Tradesmen need a Part P qualification to do most electrical work in your property. Ask to see proof of your tradesman’s Part P credentials to avoid having to contact your local building authority for certification.

Reputation

  • Ratings - Check the tradesman’s ratings on Rated People to find out what experiences other homeowners have had; these are the tradesman’s online word of mouth recommendations. Tradesmen are rated on quality, reliability and value, meaning you can make a more informed decision on who to hire.
  • Previous work - Depending on the size of the job, ask to view the tradesman’s portfolio, speak to previous customers and if possible, visit previous jobs.

The contract

  • The quote - Ask for a quotation for the work described, this differs from an estimate, which is a rough price and not binding. The quote should include a detailed job specification, price, conditions and a payment schedule.
  • VAT - It is a good idea to clarify up front whether the tradesman is VAT registered and whether you will be charged any VAT.
  • Deposit - A deposit should always be documented with a detailed invoice. The deposit should not be more than 20% of the overall job price, but should cover the tradesman’s tools, materials and travel.
  • Payment schedule - A quote should outline the payment schedule the tradesman expects, to avoid any misunderstanding later on. Each stage of the payment schedule should be documented with an invoice, and should only cover work that has clearly been completed.
  • Subcontractors - Not all tradesmen who do the quote carry out the work themselves. They may work alongside other subcontractors, or hire subcontractors to complete the entire job. While this is perfectly normal it is good to clarify this up front.
  • Guarantees - A tradesman will guarantee their workmanship for a period of time. Make sure you have clarified what this period is and that you have the relevant paperwork if you need to make a claim at a later stage.

 

 

 

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