A recently released survey of both private and social tenants across the UK has found that a shocking two thirds of respondents experienced a disrepair issue during their tenancy, with almost four fifths of London tenants reporting disrepair of some sort, making it the UK’s disrepair capital. The most common disrepair issue was damp caused by water leaking into properties due to disrepair issues such as water leaking through roofs, rotten window frames, and cracked and damaged pipes.
Every year, almost half a million tenants report dampness in their homes according to the English Housing Survey, with over one third of all tenants experiencing dampness in their properties during the past five years, and roughly one quarter reporting a recent mould infestation. Damp and mould are often the result of water leaks and broken pipes, disrepair issues which landlords are obliged to address within a reasonable time frame. How long is judged to be ‘reasonable’ will depend on the specific circumstances, but landlords are expected to act promptly when disrepair issues are reported to them, and urgently if the problem poses a risk to tenants’ health.
Landlords are responsible for the exterior of their properties, including the roof, water and gas pipes, boilers and other appliances. Loss of heating or hot water can make a property uninhabitable in a short space of time, especially in winter, yet the survey revealed that tenants wait 41 days on average for reported disrepair issues to be resolved, while almost a quarter reported having to wait more than six months for their landlord to take action. Leaking water, blocked pipes and roof damage are the most common problems that tenants experience according to the research, disrepair issues which can contribute to damp and mould at properties.
Damp and mould can cause health problems for tenants, including asthma, flu-type symptoms, infections and allergies. Tenants are often able to claim compensation for medical issues caused or made worse by damp and mould, as well as damage to personal possessions. Specialist housing disrepair solicitors like Bartletts can also help local council and housing association tenants obtain a court order for repair work to be carried out:
Recent figures from the Department for Transport show that 100 road users and pedestrians were injured in collisions with e-scooter riders during 2020, while 383 riders were also injured in accidents. Given the surging popularity of both rental and privately-owned e-scooters, the equivalent figures for 2021 are likely to be substantially higher, as safety concerns regarding the use of e-scooters in public areas continue to grow.
The figures reveal that 21 cyclists, 22 people in vehicles and 57 pedestrians were injured in accidents involving e-scooters last year, with 13 pedestrians seriously injured. This shows that all road users are at risk from e-scooter riders, with the charity Guide Dogs reporting visually impaired people are having to either change their usual routes or stop travelling independently altogether due to the perceived danger from e-scooters and their riders.
While e-scooters are not allowed to be ridden on pavements (and only rental e-scooters can be used on roads), they are unfortunately becoming a common sight across the UK. The vehicles are supposed to be limited to a top speed of 15.5mph, but many privately-owned e-scooters can travel much faster. The popularity of e-scooters reflects their convenience as a means of transport in urban areas, especially among young people, some of whom ride them irresponsibly and without wearing helmets.
E-scooter riders are themselves extremely vulnerable if they lose control of their vehicle and are involved in an accident, but they also pose a serious risk to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. With reports indicating that the government is likely to legalise the personal use of e-scooters in public areas in the next 12 months, an increasing number of e-scooter accidents are likely to be recorded across the UK in the future.
Zoë’s Place Baby Hospices in Liverpool, Coventry and Middlesbrough are hoping to repeat the success of last year’s 30 in 30 Challenge during October this year, and raise vital funds to enable the independent registered Children’s Charity to continue to provide its free services to families that need them most.
The 30 in 30 Challenge invites individuals or teams to cover 30 miles in 30 days by walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling, and to encourage friends, family and colleagues to donate and reward participants’ efforts. You can also set your own distance target if you think you can manage more than 30 miles during the month of October.
The 30 in 30 Challenge is a great way to get fit, have fun and make a much-needed contribution to Zoë’s Place, and the services it is able to provide to infants aged 0-5 years with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. Zoë’s Place has lost hundreds of thousands of pounds during the pandemic due to cancelled events and a drop in donations, so now is the perfect time to get involved and help secure the charity’s future.
To give an idea, it costs £30 an hour for respite care for one child at Zoë’s, while £45 provides one hour of music therapy for a child, and £100 would cover a day out for four children. Every donation helps provide short-term regular care with dedicated nursing staff, in a home from home environment to give parents and carers a well-deserved break.