Students in rented housing are being let down by a small number of bad landlords and a failure by local authorities to properly enforce regulations.
That’s the view of the Residential Landlords Association following the publication of a report by Electrical Safety First, highlighting problems facing student renters.
The RLA say that whilst good landlords will ensure that electricity circuits and fixtures are all safe, the lack of enforcement by local authorities against a minority of negligent landlords poses a risk for tenants.
Research conducted by the Local Government Information Unit and Management Journal earlier this year found that 54 per cent of local authorities believe that they are in danger of being unable to fund their statutory services. This includes environmental health departments responsible for enforcing standards in private rented housing.
The RLA says landlords should take advantage of training being delivered jointly by the building services accreditor NAPIT, along with the RLA itself, to improve understanding and awareness of electrical safety in rented housing.
“Rather than more regulations, the research again shows the importance of councils enforcing the wide range of powers they already have to tackle sub-standard accommodation. The sad reality is that many are too stretched to do so, leaving a minority of tenants vulnerable to sometimes unsafe accommodation” says RLA policy director David Smith.
“It’s time now that councils stepped up to the plate and use the powers they already have.”