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Tackling unsafe practice in the private rented sector



 Jun, 23 - 2016   Legislation

In January we blogged about proposals for a ground-breaking new home safety certificate, aimed at protecting both landlords and tenants in the private sector.

 

The home safety certificate and guidance has now been introduced by the Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR), a leading industry forum dedicated to providing expert advice to consumers and policy solutions to government.

 

Landlords can use the certificate to verify compliance with their legal obligations, and ensure that they have the evidence to demonstrate the safety of their properties to tenants, insurers and solicitors.

 

The certificate and guidance can be downloaded for free from their website.

 

Checklist for home safety

 

The certificate sets out the resources private sector landlords need to ensure all appropriate checks have been carried out, including:

  • An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) has been carried out within the last five years, or within an appropriate timescale determined by a competent, registered electrician with experience of carrying out inspection and testing
  • A visual electrical installation has taken place within the last year and any urgent remedial action has been noted and carried out
  • A Portable Appliance Test has been undertaken in line with a risk assessment
  • A gas safety certificate has been completed in the last year (where applicable)
  • An annual safety report for a solid fuel or oil combustion appliance has been completed in the last year by a competent, registered installer (where applicable)
  • A working carbon monoxide alarm is present in a property with a carbon burning appliance
  • A working smoke alarm is present in a property on each floor of the house and has been tested within the last year

 

Additionally, the certificate demonstrates industry recommended home safety checks, which are not legally required, but show potential tenants that safety responsibilities are being taken seriously, including:

  • Thermostatic mixing valves are present (or the tenant has been made aware of the risks if they are not)
  • A fall prevention risk assessment has been carried out
  • Appropriate blind cord safety devices are present
  • The tenant has been made aware of the fire escape strategy and exit routes

 

Huge value to both tenants and landlords

 

Chris Bielby, Chairman of the ESR, said of the certificate and guidance:

“The use of these documents allows landlords to demonstrate the safety of their properties and allows tenants to make informed decisions about where they live. They have the potential to be a valuable tool for government, insurers and other interested groups to help root out unsafe practice and improve the condition of housing in the private rented sector.”

 

View and download your free Home Safety Certificate, checklists and guidance from homesafetyguidance.co.uk. 

 

You can also find useful information about the legal requirements of landlords, and links to help you find a registered tradesperson