Plans to tighten tenant safety announced

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced plans to tighten health and safety standards for rental accommodation, helping fight against unsatisfactory living conditions.

With some private renters living in sub-standard homes with problems such as inadequate heating and damp, councils are currently required to ensure rental properties meet important safety standards using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and are able to force criminal landlords to take action where tenants are languishing in unsafe accommodation.

The system hasn’t been updated in over 12 years, and a new review of the system will consider whether it should be updated and if so, to what extent. 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.

Wheeler 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 detail of the review into carbon monoxide alarm requirements in the home, to help ensure people remain safe from this silent killer.