By Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA).
September’s coming and so are the hordes of students looking for digs. Each academic year, the half a million or so young people needing rented accommodation represent a real opportunity for landlords across the country. The private rental sector accounts for a substantial proportion of student housing, with 30 per cent of this population going down the lettings route.
A good student landlord needs to bear in mind that for many youngsters this will be the first time that they have lived independently. They need to find ways of making the property as safe as possible for this particular type of tenant who may not have enough time to worry about anything beyond their dissertation deadline.
One essential but easy way to prepare a student property is to register all its appliances on registermyappliance.org.uk.
Whilst safety recalls on appliances are rare (between 6 -10 recalls a year), if a problem arises it is very important that owners of the affected models can be contacted quickly, especially if the tenant has not got their eye on the ball.
Unlike cars, manufacturers of appliances hold few records for the majority of owners. The user-friendly website, whose growing number of supporters includes the Government’s Fire Kills campaign, aims to change this and provides quick access to the registration pages of over 60 leading brands of domestic appliances.
The web portal also offers tips on appliance care and home safety, along with a current product recall listing.
Once registered, in the rare instance that there is a safety action, a qualified engineer would visit the student residence to perform a quick fix, rendering the product safe for the rest of its working life. It is one of the simplest ways to prevent avoidable fires and ensure a tenant’s safety.
This simple and quick piece of administration should be on the to-do list of every responsible landlord as well as the vitally important task of installing working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
Allow anxious parents worrying about their offspring coping in their first rental property to sleep easy: at least the student digs are safe.
AMDEA’s Top tips for ‘student-proofing’ your property:
- Register all the property’s appliances today www.registermyappliance.org.uk
- Check safety repair and recall list http://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/products/recall-list/
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of the property
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.
- Use a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out an annual gas safety check and regular service on all gas appliances in the property.
- Make sure the electrical system, eg sockets and light fittings, and all appliances provided are safe.
- Fridges and freezers are designed to live indoors – don’t install them in garages.
- Leave copies of all relevant appliance instruction manuals for tenants to read.
For more about AMDEA visit www.amdea.org.uk