How IoT can help landlords avoid legal action
A new act will see landlords, of both social and privately rented housing, be held accountable of the living conditions in their properties or risk facing legal action.
The Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act was given Royal Accent last month meaning it will be made an Act of Parliament, amending the Landlord and Tenants Act 1984.
Currently, social tenants have no means to compel their landlords to carry out work, whilst private tenants are required to rely on council environmental health teams.
The new act will give tenants the right to take landlords to court if the property falls below legal standards and seek an injunction to carry out work and damages.
The law doesn’t introduce new standards but is a way to enforce those in the 1984 act, which includes damp caused by poor design and infestations.
In 2017, the government introduced powers to local authorities to enable them to tackle landlords who let unfit properties. These powers include fixed financial penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders.
Therefore, it is important for landlords to be aware of the living conditions inside their properties if they want to avoid legal action and hefty fines.
Pinacl offers a solution where up to four sensors can be installed in houses, providing landlords with real-time data that can indicate any issues in the property.
The use of these sensors can cut maintenance costs for landlords, with the average social housing property costing around £25,000 to fully refit.
Often installed in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room, the sensors monitor and record humidity, temperature, and CO₂ levels hourly.
The temperature sensors can help avoid problems such as faulty boilers, poor ventilation and fuel poverty, whereas the humidity sensors can provide early detection of conditions which are likely to cause mildew and mould.
Alerts can be automatically generated if problems have arisen, or are predicted to, giving landlords the information needed to take appropriate action.
Early detection of any issues is vital, giving the landlords opportunity to make any adjustments needed to improve the living conditions, which will help them avoid legal action.
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