Health and Safety shake up for Landlords

Landlords in England face a stricter health and safety regime as the government announces an overhaul of out-of-date rules. Housing Minister Heather Wheeler on rogue landlords renting out substandard homes to private tenants. The review will look at updating the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) rules for residential dwellings and tightening the law demanding landlords install carbon monoxide alarms in rented homes with gas appliances (not just with solid fuel heating). HHSRS rules are unchanged after their introduction 12 years ago.

“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.

“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 is a rating system applied by councils and fire services to identify potential health and safety risks to tenants living in private rented homes. The rules were introduced by the 2004 Housing Act. The move follows a recent call from a private rented housing research team at York University for buy to let homes to have a regular health and safety check like an MoT inspection for cars.