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November 6

by Samantha Altman
Private rented homes health and safety crack down

Housing minister Heather Wheeler has called for a crack down on tenant health and safety in private rented homes.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System was introduced 12 years ago and is considered by some industry experts as unfit for purpose. Wheeler wants to overhaul the system to make tenants safer in their private rented homes.

She claims a minority of rogue landlords ignore the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) and rent out substandard homes that are a danger to tenants.

“Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own home,” said the minister.

“These reviews will allow us to revisit the current systems for health and safety ratings and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure that both are fit for purpose and meeting the needs of tenants.

“By looking again at these rules, we can make sure that they are working as they should to keep people safe and give them peace of mind in their homes.”

The review will consider introducing minimum health and safety standards in rented homes and will also look at extending laws for installing carbon monoxide detectors in private rented homes with solid fuel appliances to all rented properties.

“While most landlords are responsible owners who take great pride in the properties they lease to their tenants, some private renters live in sub-standard homes with problems such as inadequate heating and damp,” said a housing ministry spokesman.

The minister will also consider if carbon monoxide safety rules should extend to other types of heating and social housing.

HHSRS was introduced in England by the 2004 Housing Act as a checklist for council and fire officers inspecting health and safety standards in houses of multiple occupation.

Find out more about your legal obligations as a landlord.

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