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Thumbs up from agents for safety review of rental sector

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 The current system has not been updated for 12 years with the guidance alongside it equally out of date.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.

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    Social housing should have to comply with then same health and safety requirements as the PRS. Dangerous events don’t only take place in the PRS

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    The answers to this already exist. At Skyline Surveyors Ltd, we have recently created Mi Buy To Let Survey which combines an inspection of the condition of the property with a review of the health and safety issues raised by HHSRS. It is naïve to think that a simple tick box review can properly assess health and safety concerns, many of which are directly related to the condition and facilities within the dwelling. Health and safety issues are often blamed on tenant lifestyle whereas, in many instances, repairs or improvements to the building can result greatly improved living conditions. We hope to feed into the government review with the aim of delivering better homes for tenants and protecting landlords investment.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 29 October 2018 14:38 PM

    It does tend to be the lifestyle of the tenant not ventilating the house despite having the newly fitted upvc windows as required by the council and their lack of heating the place whilst airing their wet clothes indoors in the rooms causing mould and wallpaper peeling off. yet again landlord are to be blame despite obvious reasons and results and regular inspection informing tenant to ventilate and heat the house. come deduction, my deposit then took the view its wear and tear?
    our system needs some experience adjudicator who are impartial to both landlord and tenant. the law must avoid giving tenants the juice to create the problems then sue the landlord!!!



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