A tenant in Stoke-on-Trent died in her sleep in a rented property while she was five months pregnant. Apparently she and her husband had made several complaints about the mouldy state of the property and the council had served the landlord with an enforcement notice but he failed to carry out the work. Her widower believes the mould contributed to her death. A court case is pending against the landlord.
In another case a landlord is being prosecuted following the accidental death of a builder who fell from the roof while undertaking repairs. Many of our landlord buy to let clients will have been in the position of having to arrange repairs following a complaint from a tenant. In this instance, The landlord had been notified by his letting agents that the tenants had reported a wet ceiling in an upstairs room. The landlord arranged for a self-employed builder to replace the roof and the builder arranged for his brother and two others to assist.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no scaffolding had been erected and the workers were using two ladders to gain access to the roof. The HSE said that it is vital for small residential landlords to appreciate that they have legal duties in respect of the health and safety of persons who carry out repairs on their properties. In this case the landlord pleaded guilty to breaching the relevant regulations and was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,129.