Child Proofing a house: T or L?

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    Child Proofing a house: T or L?

    Quick question:


    T signs inventory of house sight-as-seen, so knows what they are and aren't getting (e.g. do get white goods, don't get net curtains)


    T is alarmed to find their children 'hanging out of the top floor window' (it is a side-opening 1st story window) and asks L to fit length restrictors (i.e. child proof) on them


    LL's first reaction is to tell T to keep better check on her kids, but refrains from doing so and instead feels that child-proofing a house, once you have seen and signed (thereby agreed with) an inventory is the responsibility of the T and not the LL





    What do you guys think, especially those with experience of letting to T's with kids??

    #2
    I think a Landlord has a duty of care to ensure the house is fit for purpose and safe.

    Now a child, if they really wanted to, could get out of a window regardless of how high it was. Windows are made now to open wide in case of fire etc.

    I would suggest that the tenant fit some restrictors on the windows that only allow the windows to open so far but can easily be removed in case of a fire. You can buy these in mothercare.

    Comment


      #3
      Landlord has no obligation to fit child-proofing devices, (or make improvements, etc).

      Poppy35 makes a good point in terms of fire safety; you would be liable if you fitted anything on the windows which resulted in the tenants being unable to escape from a fire (and they died as a consequence). And I wouldn't even suggest that they fit restrictors on the windows - arguably, doing this could also make you liable, e.g. "landlord told us we should fit restrictors from Mothercare and then my child couldn't escape from the bedroom when the fire started...".

      So say no, and leave the responsibility firmly with the tenant as to what they decide to do.

      And if any of the child-proofing causes damage, T is liable for cost of repair.

      Comment


        #4
        Not sure of legalities here but when I was a social housing tenant my then 18 mo was able to climb onto the radiator in her room and onto the window ledge that was very wide and would try to open the window. The window had locks but no keys and was very stiff, she could open the catch and would push with both hands on the window!

        I had already had a "company" come out and fit various secure child proof measures and they tried to fit restrictors but my windows would not allow them... They informed me to go to Council and get locks/ restrictors fitted as, as my LL they had a duty of care to protect my child......
        GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

        Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by westminster View Post
          Poppy35 makes a good point in terms of fire safety; you would be liable if you fitted anything on the windows which resulted in the tenants being unable to escape from a fire (and they died as a consequence).
          Yes but proper restrictors are specifically designed to be over-ruled by an adult in the event of a fire; a bit like the child-safe locks you put on kitchen cabinets, or child-proof caps on medicine bottles.

          (FYI in one of my properties where there is a large low-level opening window, I have fitted a simple front door security chain at about eye-level - it stops the window being opened more than about 6" unless an adult chooses to undo the chain).

          Comment


            #6
            One of my properties required new openers,(hinges,) on one of the upvc double glazed windows. There is a wholesaler fairly close by so got the replacements from here. The openers had restrictors built in, so you just needed to push a small button to open the window fully. Apart from the fact that the restrictors were on both openers, requiring a hand on each plus a third to open the window, it seemed like a neat idea.

            I asked about an identical replacement and was told that if they were required it was dependant on the height of the opening from the floor. Didn't get into exact measurements as in my case it was a downstairs window and they are not required at all.

            By no means an expert, but suggest building regs may be place to look to see if they are required.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by justaboutsane View Post
              They informed me to go to Council and get locks/ restrictors fitted as, as my LL they had a duty of care to protect my child......
              Did they write to you, and quote this duty?
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by justaboutsane View Post
                They informed me to go to Council and get locks/ restrictors fitted as, as my LL they had a duty of care to protect my child......
                I think social housing landlords have different/additional legal obligations compared to private landlords.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Steve C View Post
                  By no means an expert, but suggest building regs may be place to look to see if they are required.
                  Building regs would only apply if the windows were being replaced.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I found this on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents' website.
                    http://www.rospa.com/FAQs/Detail.aspx?faq=232

                    "Is there a legal requirement for landlords to fit restrictors to windows where children live in the building?
                    Figures taken from DTI’s Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System (HASS/LASS) indicate that more than 2,000 children under five are injured after falling from buildings and other structures. However, there is no specific legal requirement to fit restrictors to windows. Part N and Approved Document K of the Building Regulations state that prevention of falling includes use by all people in the property. A good landlord would be wise to fit window restrictors because this would reduce the risk of a child falling through the gap.

                    Approved Document B1 of the Building Regulations guidance states that ‘window locks may be fitted to egress windows subject to the stay being fitted with a release catch, which may be child resistant’, but this would only apply to new buildings or those undergoing building work and material changes of use.

                    RoSPA’s policy is for lockable window restrictors to be fitted to all windows at or above first floor level. Because of concerns over emergency exits from windows in the case of fire, It is crucial that the keys to window restrictors are easily accessible and that the adults in the building know how to bypass the restrictors in the case of an emergency."

                    Comment

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