Does agent/landlord need to fit bannister?

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    Does agent/landlord need to fit bannister?

    For over 2 months, i've been trying to get property manager to arrange getting a bannister on our stairs, which are very steep, carpeted, and have no bannister or handrail on the non-wall side. They are basically ignoring me, although they've sent two people to quote after a lot of hassling from me.

    I have 6 month old twins and I'm very worried about them crawling soon, with regard to the stairs. The stairs go from the living room to just outside their bedroom upstairs. You could step outside their bedroom and fall straight down the stairs (see photo).

    Does LL have an obligation to fit bannister? One of the guys that quoted seem to think it was a H&S issue and illegal in current state. I just want it sorted really, and not sure what to do as they're just ignoring my request.

    Thanks in advance.

    IMG_7872.jpg

    #2
    Aggressive reply. ( I am known for this where problems must be fixed, so don't be annoyed )

    No ifs ands or buts, You get banister fitted immediately if agents refuse to do anything, you source a chippy, pay him. You can start looking at 9am tomorrow.
    You could be sued when a child lands on it's head and breaks it's neck, and dies.

    I don't want to hear you are in Spain, and can't do anything. etc.
    Flights are cheap to save a life.

    Comment


      #3
      +1

      100% agree. Your insurance probably wouldn't cover any personal injury claims given you know the risk.

      Sort it. TODAY!
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        ram,

        Erm, I think the OP is the tenant, not the landlord?

        (Obviously some of that advice could potentially be aimed at a tenant of the property, although it'd be unusual to start installing banisters as a tenant).

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          #5
          OOpps!! Sorry!

          Write (yes, WRITE! - keep copy ) to landlord (yes, LANDLORD..), copy agent a letter using this page for guidance, including draft letter.
          https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...ivate_landlord

          Is "property manager" the letting agent??

          Your contract is with whoever is named as landlord in tenancy agreement - he's the person you need to contact (by all means copy other people).

          If all this fails point out you will invite council round to review "against HHSRS guidelines" - see
          https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-professionals
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            That's unbelievable! you need a bannister right away.

            Comment


              #7
              It doesn't look so bad if you turn the picture the right way.
              "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

              What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for replies! Yes I am the tenant, not the landlord. The Property Manager is from the letting agency that I rented through (a nation wide one). I have got the LL's address from the contract (lives in the US - I am in UK) and everything is meant to be sorted through the Property manager from the agency.

                I have gone through the agency's complaints procedure, because my Property Manager was essentially ignoring me. He sent one person to quote, then said LL said he needed to obtain more quotes, but he didn't arrange any. Then he didn't return my calls, emails, including one saying that my mother had slipped on the stairs and please could it be sorted ASAP. They know that I have babies. The Property Manager's manager said they could not authorise this kind of work without LL consent, but that he'd be on the case. I have heard nothing for a week. I emailed this morning and asked for an update, no reply.

                Getting stressed about this and fed up. Maybe I should contact the LL or council. I feel like LL won't care though, maybe he doesn't want to spend the money and will see me as a difficult tenant. We have always paid on time, look after the property well, and don't ask much.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Wannadonnadoodah View Post
                  It doesn't look so bad if you turn the picture the right way.
                  I couldn't work out how to flip it! I see what you mean, but the bedroom at the top of the stairs has a door wider than the landing, so you could step out straight onto the stairs. They are steep and shallow, so you could easily fall. I have size 6 feet, and only 3/4 of my foot fits on the steps. There is also no post where I can insert stair gates for the babies, either at the top or bottom.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by cambslar View Post
                    Thanks for replies! Yes I am the tenant, not the landlord. The Property Manager is from the letting agency that I rented through (a nation wide one). I have got the LL's address from the contract (lives in the US - I am in UK) and everything is meant to be sorted through the Property manager from the agency.

                    I have gone through the agency's complaints procedure, because my Property Manager was essentially ignoring me. He sent one person to quote, then said LL said he needed to obtain more quotes, but he didn't arrange any. Then he didn't return my calls, emails, including one saying that my mother had slipped on the stairs and please could it be sorted ASAP. They know that I have babies. The Property Manager's manager said they could not authorise this kind of work without LL consent, but that he'd be on the case. I have heard nothing for a week. I emailed this morning and asked for an update, no reply.

                    Getting stressed about this and fed up. Maybe I should contact the LL or council. I feel like LL won't care though, maybe he doesn't want to spend the money and will see me as a difficult tenant. We have always paid on time, look after the property well, and don't ask much.
                    This needs sorted ASAP but you can also use the letting agent redress scheme - see
                    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...edress_schemes
                    And put in your letter to landlord & agent ...
                    ...you will invite council round to review "against HHSRS guidelines" - see
                    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-professionals ..
                    They really are a bunch of clowns if they can't see it's in their interests to sort it, TODAY!

                    Best wishes to you all
                    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks. Have emailed the Property Manager's manager and pointed out that the stairs don't meet any of the HHSRS guidelines (we got a tape measure out and they are way steeper, narrower, less deep than all the guideline measurements). Not good.

                      I have also contacted the council. Hopefully they will carry out an inspection and help put pressure on PM/LL (not sure who is failing here) to sort it out.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This was a similar thread from a month ago. http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...read.php?79648

                        In this case, it was the landlord who didn't want to install the bannister.
                        I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          First of all, keep the children downstairs and block their access to the stairs at the bottom.
                          There are safety gates that don't need a mounting or that can be attached to a wall.

                          From the look of the property, the stairs aren't safe enough for a rental property (with or without children, but more with).
                          However, they landlord obviously hasn't had a bannister removed, so they property was like that when the tenant moved in, or when the tenant had the children having moved in.
                          The landlord's responsibility for the safety of tenants only goes so far - let's not get ahead of ourselves - the parents of children have a greater and more immediate responsibility.

                          It would be sensible for the landlord to fix the bannister, but I would notify the property manager that you are concerned about safety and will contact the council if they don't act.
                          You have to consider the options if the landlord simply says no - if the local authority says the property is unsafe, you may have to leave.

                          Hopefully the landlord and agent will see sense.
                          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I generally agree with the other comments, and it looks to me as though current building regulations would require "guarding" of a significant height. Generally building regulations only get triggered on existing buildings when there is significant work done, although I'm a little surprised that this arrangement has been legal at any time in the last century.

                            I would certainly hope the council would be interested.

                            However, I think you need to be clear that the Agent is the landlord's agent, not your agent. The presence of the agent does not change the fact that the landlord is, himself, legally responsible for your safety.

                            Comment

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