Landlords guide

Landlords (and their letting agents should they employ one) have a general duty of care to ensure that the accommodation they offer for rent does not have a detrimental effect on the health, safety and welfare of their tenants. All dwellings should also provide a safe and healthy environment for occupants and visitors. The aim of this series of articles is to help landlords to understand what they need to do to meet these obligations, and to provide a guide in plain English to the minimum standards considered acceptable in the private rented sector as set out in the Housing Act 2004.

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The HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating System) is the risk assessment method used by housing professionals to link building defects to health. This is system that was kept in mind during the writing of these articles. The full system can be downloaded from the government's website.

The standards discussed for rented homes and for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) contained in this series of articles approximate those used by Borough Councils and Fire Safety services across the UK. They are not meant to be exhaustive and really are the bare minimum you should aspire to. It is likely properties that fall below the level described herein would have to be improved if a local authority looked at them.

Some of the articles are quite long out of necessity rather than by choice, but should easily be digestible over a lunch break.  They have been contstructed so as to separate out the standards for single dwellings and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) so that if you as a landlord own only one type of property you do not have to read through a lot of useless information to get to the bits that are relevant to you.


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