The economy isn’t always where we want it to be, and your rental property can swing up and down depending on factors beyond your control. When times are tough, people and businesses fold. In fact, a study of nearly 2,500 residential landlords discovered that 25% were planning on selling their property.
But sometimes, tough times can make people do unpleasant things. Just check out how unscrupulous landlords have tried to cut costs in heinous ways. After you’ve gone through this list, you may just feel more appreciative of your current landlord.
Literally Cut Down on Corners
Space is money in real estate, especially if that space is in a highly sought-after neighbourhood or community. Journalists and residents have noticed that residential homes have been steadily shrinking in size over the years, leading to the rise of what’s known as “rabbit hutch” homes. A report noted that more than half of new developments are falling below the minimum space standards of the United Kingdom.
This practice of divvying up residential spaces into smaller and smaller spaces stems from heightened demand for real estate in certain places. Unscrupulous landlords could decide to take advantage of this demand by offering rental spaces that are punishingly cramped.
Skip on Electrical Safety
When it comes to safety, ensuring that the wiring of your place of residence is updated and secure is a top concern. Without constant inspection and updating, electrical appliances and wiring degrade over time and eventually not only become inefficient but also become dangerous. Landlords who are looking for illegal ways to cut costs could eschew inspections.
New legislation is on the way to prevent this from happening. In July 2020, private rented properties are getting new regulations to protect tenants. Some requirements include new timeframes for when people should get their energy performance certificates and similar inspections.
Chuck Their Garbage Everywhere
Law enforcement has always disapproved of fly-tipping, or the illegal dumping of waste and garbage. If you’re a landlord and you’ve just cleaned out a long-term tenant’s lodging, fly-tipping could seem cheaper than hiring professional cleaners or a skip to take away the trash. But not only is fly-tipping punishable by law, but it could also ruin a landlord’s reputation.
This is exactly what happened when a landlord in Sparkbrook dumped his garbage illegally. Police officers shared pictures of the rubbish heap on their Twitter feed. Locals, who had been frustrated by the disgusting practice, took to social media to shame the perpetrator and support the literal and figurative cleaning up of the streets.
Endanger the Lives of Residents
Skipping on the safety of your residents is one of the worst things a landlord could do just to shave off a little from their bills. A landlord in Redbridge was fined over £25,000 when authorities discovered that five of his rented properties were potential death traps waiting to happen.
Authorities found out that none of the rented properties, which were home to 56 tenants, contained no fire safety measures to protect residents There were no smoke alarms or fire blankets in sight, which could spell death in case of a fire.
When times are tough, people should be banding together to stay afloat, not sacrificing one another’s well-being. Landlords are entrusted to keep their residents safe, and during troublesome times, their residents are counting on that more than ever.