SAFETY is compromised in too many rented properties, according to new research.

Standards have risen relating to gas and fires, but fallen in other areas, a report from insurer AXA has revealed.

Four in 10 tenants say they do not have smoke alarms installed, despite landlords being legally required to fit them on each floor of a property.

This is still a marked improvement on 2014, prior to the rule being introduced, when six in 10 tenants lacked them.

The report points out that the sector still has much catching up to do on important areas like fire and gas safety.

Over the past four years, there has been a raft of new legislation relating to the private rented sector.

Every rental property requires an annual gas safety inspection, but just 58 per cent have had this check in the past 12 months.

Among the other key requirements are that landlords provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to tenants. In England and Wales the Government’s How to Rent guide informs them of their rights and responsibilities.

Yet only a third of tenants say they have seen the EPC, up from 19 in 2014, and just 15 per cent of those eligible have received the Government’s mandatory guide.

Not following the rules can put landlords on shaky ground legally.

AXA notes that landlords compromise their rights with these omissions, as those who have not provided the guide, EPC and gas safety certificate cannot evict a tenant under a Section 21 notice.

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