Where did the Housing Inspector come from? I started my inspection company 21 years ago because I was so angry at the manner in which I was treated when renting a home in South East London.
The check in service was 10 minutes long, the property was inaccurately described on the inventory which was supplied to govern my tenancy and deposit return. And the appliances did not work!
I was employed at that time by an insurance company, specifically tailoring their products to an ever growing and steeply unregulated private rented market place.
My professional work coupled with my personal experience created this deep commitment to this industry and my unrelenting passion to see a change for the better.
I have witnessed appalling conditions (created by both landlords and tenants) during my long career inspecting private rented property and until quite recently have been absolutely unable to affect any major change.
The selective licensing route is a harsh one for many however even with the most conscientious landlords the ‘old way’ of preparing a property for tenant rental still falls way below safety guidelines.
The potential hazards are many, particularly with the high dependency we now have on electrical items – homes were not built to cope with this much demand.
It is an area I am particularly passionate about as electrical compliance remains an ambiguous area. We have seen the most devastating outcome in the horror of the Grenville tragedy, although this was the worst in our history the statistics are deeply worrying;
Number of fires of electrical origin in England in 2015/16 (with methodology applied):
– 15,432 fires caused by electricity (out of a total of 28,350 fires)
– 54.4% of fires in England were caused by electricity
– Misuse of equipment or appliance was the largest cause,
As The Housing Inspector I understand the process from all perspectives as;
a TenantFinding a property to rent in London can be very stressful and incredibly expensive. Assumptions are always made by the incoming tenants regarding mandatory consideration for;
- Gas Safe
- integrity of the electrics
- safety of windows, doors and stairs
- the compliant order of supplied items.
It remains landlord responsibility to meet this standard – not the tenant’s misfortune to discover them and battle to have them resolved.
For the landlord it is often considered that ever increasing set of financial demands to show compliance can be frustrating, at times impossible ….
Particularly with the ‘if it isn’t broken don’t fix it mentality’ by managing Agents!
Also understand that managing agents find themselves in such a competitive market place so much so that the best practice is not always recommended. Repairs are often linked to expenditure so risk losing the business to a less conscientious managing agent.
Particularly with property in London a vast amount of disposable income goes towards paying the rent (Government figures for 2016/17) and our aim is help all parties enjoy the tenancy as much as possible.