Holiday home landlords must keep their properties free of defects which could cause injuries. Examples of dangerous disrepair include issues with gas, electricity and water supplies to the property. All internal appliances supplying these services need to be well maintained and in good working order. A faulty immersion heater, for example, can result in scalding hot tap or shower water with the potential to cause burns, while gas boilers may also malfunction and emit carbon monoxide. Electric sockets and other points of electrical contact must be safely installed and pose no risk of electric shocks.
Slips, trips and falls at rented holiday homes are often the result of property disrepair. Frayed and worn carpeting may cause a tenant to trip over it, while damaged, loose or rotten floorboards may give way under a person’s weight. Leaking water due to boiler problems is usually the reason for floorboards becoming damp, and is also the cause of lumps of plaster falling from ceilings and walls. Stairs may be missing bannisters or the bannisters may be in a defective state, both of which may result in a tenant falling down the stairs. Furniture and furnishings may also be damaged and hazardous, such as broken glass on table surfaces, chairs which give way, or loose cupboards which may collapse.
Landlords are responsible for ensuring that communal and external areas and features are maintained in a safe state for visitors. Stairwells should be adequately lit and kept free from obstructions, while floors in reception areas should not be left in a slippery and hazardous state. Surface defects in gardens and car parks, such as potholes and exposed concrete edges, have the potential to cause fractured limbs and cuts. Swimming pools at rented holiday homes must also be safe to use, as should all similar installations like patios, barbecue areas, gazebos, sun loungers and outdoors furniture.
Bed bug bites are another risk at rented holiday homes and can cause a significant degree of mental trauma, especially among children. Bed bugs may also stowaway in luggage, resulting in homes becoming infested with the insects when tenants return from their holiday. Other insect and rodent infestations at holiday homes can also be dangerous and unpleasant, potentially ruining a long-anticipated break and causing illnesses such as food poisoning.
Holiday home tenants have the same legal right as regular residential tenants to expect that their rented property will be safe for them to live in. There are many different examples of unsafe living conditions, and it is the responsibility of holiday home landlords to make sure that the accommodation they provide is properly maintained in all aspects to minimise the risk of guests getting injured through no fault of their own. If you have been injured at a holiday home, contact our specialist housing solicitors for free legal advice and to discuss making a claim against the landlord.