Industry bodies have given their support to a wide ranging review of safety regulations governing the private rental sector.
The government announced the review on Friday afternoon.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark’s chief executive calls it “excellent news”.
“The government will review the existing Housing Health and Safety Rating System which we have long said is too complicated and poorly understood by tenants, landlords, agents and enforcement officers.
“We need to create a practical system with criteria which are easy to use, and fully support the recommendation in the Rugg Review for a property MOT which will ensure that a home meets a minimum set of requirements and that the landlord understands what is expected of them.”
And David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, says: “We welcome the Government’s decision to review the safety standards around rented housing which the RLA has long called for. The current system has not been updated for 12 years with the guidance alongside it equally out of date.
“This review provides an important opportunity to improve enforcement against the minority of landlords who bring the sector into disrepute and fail to provide the safe accommodation they should.”
Under current rules, local councils are required to ensure private rental properties in their area meet safety standards using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and are able to force landlords to take action where tenants are languishing in unsafe accommodation.
However the system hasn’t been updated in over 12 years, and the review of the system will consider the scope of any updating.
The review will also look into carbon monoxide alarm provisions.
Current rules state that alarms must be fitted in privately rented homes with solid fuel appliances and when solid fuel stoves and boilers are installed.
The review will judge whether there should be a blanket requirement to install alarms for other methods of heating, including gas and oil, and to social housing.