Are Letting Agents Failing Their Tenants?
Letting agents have been criticised for renting out damp properties with mould and having a lack of knowledge about safety regulations. The shocking findings were revealed after the consumer watchdog Which? sent out its researchers undercover to investigate the realities of renting. They carried out 30 viewings across England and Scotland to compare the actual conditions of the properties compared to their listings. They found remarkable discrepancies, including the fact that one in five of the flats had damp.
Damp Gets Swept Under the Carpet
They had a list of questions to put to the letting agents to see how well informed they were about health and safety regulations and other important information. Although one in five of the properties viewed had damp, not one of the agents could commit to actually solving the problem. One went so far as to say that they couldn’t discuss evidence of damp because they lacked the “technical expertise” to deduce whether it was or wasn’t a problem caused by damp. One home had black mould around the bath, but the photos in the listing looked immaculate. One letting agent said that mould in the bathroom could occur in any flat.
Lack of Knowledge
Eight of the 30 viewings were also rated poor regarding the answers that the researchers received concerning maintenance and repairs. The agents seemed particularly clueless about holding deposits, with some of them struggling to explain how much the deposits were and how they are refunded.
Some agents could not answer basic questions concerning important safety issues. The Which? researchers found that half of the agents could not provide information about the boiler, while many did not have adequate knowledge of carbon monoxide alarms. Boilers need to be serviced to ensure they are not a health risk. Carbon monoxide alarms are a requirement in properties with gas appliances. Both regular servicing and alarms can save lives. For Boiler Servicing Gloucester information, you can contact http://www.hprservicesltd.com/gloucester-boilers/boiler-servicing-gloucester/.
What Agents Should Know
A professional letting agent should know that a gas safety certificate needs to be provided for tenants. They should also know the requirements regarding gas and electrical safety checks. They should be able to point out the CO2 and smoke alarms and keep a record of when they were last tested.