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Government announce greater protection for renters

Friday 26 October 2018

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced that the Government will review current rules governing health and safety standards in rental properties, so that tenants can be afforded greater protection.

Set against a backdrop of Grenfell and Government plans to fully regulate the property industry, the measures announced today aim to tighten health and safety standards for rental accommodation, by reviewing the current outdated and complicated 29 point Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The review will also look at whether to introduce minimum standards for common health and safety problems in rental accommodation in order to keep renters safe.

They also promise to clampdown on the small minority of rogue landlords who turn a blind-eye to dangerous conditions or rent out overcrowded properties – including the possibility of a minimum health and safety standard – These include fines of up to £30,000 for those landlords who do not comply

Finally, they will take action to ensure carbon monoxide rules are fit for purpose. A review which will judge whether legislation goes far enough in keeping people safe from the risks of carbon monoxide in their homes, and whether there should be a blanket requirement to install alarms for other methods of heating, including gas and oil, and to social housing. Ministers will also consider new research including technological improvements and the falling costs of carbon monoxide alarms and whether this supports a case to extend requirements.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said:

"Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own home.

"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.

Ministers have also outlined further details of the review into carbon monoxide alarm requirements in the home, to help ensure people remain safe from this silent killer."

David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark said: “It’s excellent news that the Government will review the existing Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) 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.”