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Government spells out fire responsibilities of private rental sector

A minister at the Departrment of Communities and Local Government has set out the government’s position in terms of the fire-related responsibilities within the private rental sector.

Answering written questions this week, junior minister Marcus Jones said:

“All homes should be of a reasonable standard and all tenants should have a safe place to live. Under the Landlord and Tennant Act 1985, landlords have a general obligation to ensure that they keep in repair the structure and exterior of any property they rent out. 

“Local authorities have strong and effective powers to deal with poor quality unsafe accommodation and we expect them to use those powers. Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, local authorities can issue an Improvement Notice or a Hazard Awareness Notice if they find a defect in the property. 

“In extreme circumstances, the local authority may decide to make repairs themselves, or to prohibit that property from being rented out. 

“The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places a duty on housing providers to undertake a fire risk assessment of the common parts of their properties and to put in place and maintain adequate fire precautions to manage the risk that lives could be lost in a fire. The Order is enforced by fire and rescue authorities.”

You can see other questions and answers relating to fire safety and Grenfell Tower here. 

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