Why it’s important not to let your buildings fall into disrepair
Posted on 19th Feb, 2019 | By Lorretta Tatham
Take a look around your local area and you are bound to see at least one property in a state of disrepair. It is often older properties that are left to slowly decay, but sometimes newer properties are not well-maintained, and problems ensue.
Regular property maintenance is more than just common sense. If a property in a state of disrepair causes injury to a third-party, the property owner is at risk of legal action. For example, if roof tiles fall on to a neighbouring property owner’s car, that person could sue you for damages. In addition, collecting rental payments on a property in a state of disrepair could lead to the local authority taking legal action against you under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, which has recently been passed into law.
Examples of disrepair
Common examples of disrepair include rotting windows, doors, and other woodwork, broken glass, sagging roofs, unsteady walls, rusting pipework, mould and vermin infestations. This is not an exhaustive list. If your property is in a state of decay and there is anything that might cause injury or problems to a neighbouring property, it should be fixed.
Don’t assume that being sued is the only thing you have to worry about. If the property is mortgaged, the lender may have something to say about the fact that it isn’t being properly maintained. Until a property is mortgage-free, the lender has an interest in it. Many lenders include clauses in the mortgage agreement that state the property owner must maintain the fabric of the building. Your lender could foreclose on the mortgage if they feel their investment is under threat.
Protecting your investment
Even if your property is not mortgaged, you still need to think about protecting your investment. A property is the most significant asset most people own. Allowing it to fall into a state of disrepair is not good business sense. The more neglected a property is, the less it is worth. You should always protect your investment with a program of regular property maintenance.
Regular maintenance jobs
There are some jobs you can’t afford to leave indefinitely, and the roof should be top of your to-do list. The roof keeps a property safe from the weather. If the roof is allowed to fall into disrepair, it won’t be long before water finds a way in. And once water gets in, it causes all kinds of serious damage, from rotting timber to damaged plaster.
Roof maintenance and repairs should always be carried out by professionals. Working at height is dangerous if you don’t use the right tools and equipment. Use contractors who have completed working at height training courses. If necessary, have scaffolding installed to facilitate a safe working environment. Contact us to find out more about work safety training courses.
Have a regular maintenance list for your properties. This is even more important for rentals. Put tasks in your diary, such as cleaning gutters and performing checks on external pipework. If the property is empty, do a visual check as often as possible and ask the neighbours to report any issues to you directly.
Here at Browns Safety, we’re committed to safeguarding the physical health of both you and your employees, no matter what industry you work in. We offer a number of safety courses to help you mitigate risks at work. To book your place, you can use the on-site form, or simply give us a call on 01282 615517.