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Child safety in a rented property

(30 Posts)
Dashie Mon 14-Sep-15 13:19:06

I'm hoping for some advice regarding a landlord's responsibility to keep accommodation safe for children. I hope that this is the right place to post!
We live in rented accommodation connected to my husband's job. We do not choose our accommodation, it is allocated to us.
We have recently moved to a new home and I am concerned for the safety of my 3-year-old and 10-month-old because of a number of issues.

1. The cover on the electric cooker is missing, meaning that the electric hobs can not be protected when hot. I am worried that my 3-year-old could burn himself as they remain very hot for some time.
2. The staircase banisters consist of two horizontal bars of wood. The gap from the floor to the bottom of the first bar is 22cm. The landing banister has been boarded off but not on the stairs. It is a long drop!
3. There is a thin metal shelf approximately one metre high. It has a hard edge, which is dented and therefore very sharp. My 3-year-old has already bumped into it, nearly cutting his cheek.

Please could you tell me if I am being unrealistic in expecting these issues to be fixed. Is the landlord under any obligation legally to fix them? The letting is managed by a large private letting company and it is notorious for avoiding repairs.

Thank you for your help!

Bellemere Mon 14-Sep-15 13:24:00

Don't you have stair gates to address the first two issues? Can you take the shelf down? Use those corner cushion things?

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Mon 14-Sep-15 13:26:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Mon 14-Sep-15 13:28:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Snozberry Mon 14-Sep-15 13:28:18

I can't help with the LL issue but you can get rolls of edging foam stuff on amazon very cheap for the edge of shelves, works the same way as those corner pad things. I would also get stairgates for the stairs and also the kitchen doorway to keep the 3yo away without having to shut the door

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Mon 14-Sep-15 13:30:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coveredinsnot Mon 14-Sep-15 13:38:58

If the letting agents won't make the changes you require, make them yourselves. You can always ask permission but might also be worth asking or looking at your rental agreement and insurance policies to see who is responsible if a tenant comes to harm due to property issues.

I think if you tell them your child has already injured themselves they will hopefully do something.

I fell down the stairs when pregnant and they replaced the carpet relatively quickly. This was after raising it several times before as other people had also fallen down the stairs (due to worn out carpet).

Basically, kick up a stink, in writing, and connect your requests to risk issues, they'd be stupid to ignore you!

wowfudge Mon 14-Sep-15 13:55:29

None of these things are your landlord's responsibility. These are not items which by law they have to ensure are 'childproof' otherwise where would you stop? Remove the shelf or fit corner protectors, keep your children away from the hob and cooker and you can buy bannister shield from numerous places to cover the gaps. You can always ask the landlord if they are prepared to contribute to the cost, but be prepared for them to say no.

wowfudge Mon 14-Sep-15 13:58:13

As far as I am aware you shouldn't close the lid on a hot job anyway - it's there to keep the job clean when not in use/provide an extra flat surface.

wowfudge Mon 14-Sep-15 14:00:57

Hob - obviously

BeeRayKay Mon 14-Sep-15 14:26:10

Also wouldn't think any of those are you LL's responsibility...

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Mon 14-Sep-15 14:46:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dashie Mon 14-Sep-15 21:04:11

Sorry I've not been able to reply today.

Thank you so much for all the useful advice and tips.

TheDrugsWork, HHSRS is a very interesting read. Are they guidelines or legal rules that landlords have to follow? The cooker is meant to have a cover but it has been removed. Do you know if that makes any difference?

I agree that keeping my children safe is completely my responsibility but I can't help thinking that when an obvious and significant hazard has been put in our home by the landlord, then this becomes their responsibility too.

I have contacted the landlord to discuss these issues but at least I know a bit more about what is/is not appropriate to expect from them.

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Mon 14-Sep-15 23:15:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coveredinsnot Tue 15-Sep-15 08:19:06

What's the 1st October deadline about...?

LIZS Tue 15-Sep-15 08:35:34

Usually you can't put the cover on an electric hob until it is cool anyway (risk of shattering due to heat), so I don't think it is a safety feature per se, although you probably can't switch it on without raising it. Can you not remove the shelf or add some foam to the sharp end. The banisters probably met regulations at the time but should be adjusted or covered now, focus on this and any glass doors which may or may not be safety glass if of the same era. Could you use some netting yourself for now or specifically designed products like

Iamnotloobrushphobic Tue 15-Sep-15 08:40:30

but know gas job with cover removed is illegal & would fail gas safety check.

It isn't gas. The cover on an electric hob is not there to prevent children from getting burnt as it shouldn't be closed when the hob is hot.
You can buy a hob guard which surrounds the hob and prevents little children from touching hot rings.

Iamnotloobrushphobic Tue 15-Sep-15 08:42:14

One of these

TwmSionCati Tue 15-Sep-15 08:46:38

yes but all ovens are like that aren't they? confused
As long as you have gas and electric safety certs, then surely that is as far as the landlord's responsibilites go? oh yes and smoke alarms etc as another poster said.
I mean, we all have to child-proof our houses, rented or not.

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Tue 15-Sep-15 10:00:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Tue 15-Sep-15 10:00:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Tue 15-Sep-15 10:02:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Snossidge Tue 15-Sep-15 10:03:58

I'd put up some stairgates and take down the shelf.

wowfudge Tue 15-Sep-15 11:16:43

It is not mandatory for electrical safety checks to be undertaken - it is for gas. I agree with what LIZS states about the banisters. You really can't expect the landlord to be responsible for everything - how do any of us deal with hazards in our own homes? We mitigate against them, put stair gates in, teach children that hot things can hurt them and move hazards at their level.

Gas hob with cover removed is illegal? Really?? What about the two gas hobs we've had that have no cover/lid?

TheDrugsWorkABitTooWellThanks Tue 15-Sep-15 12:27:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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