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Government urged to focus on improving conditions in the PRS

The government must focus on urgently improving dangerous housing conditions across the country after new figures revealed that thousands of private tenants are at risk of death in their properties, according to the Chartered Institute of Environmental health (CIEH).

New analysis from The Times in the wake of the deaths of two men of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning living in unlicensed shared housing suggests that at least 375,000 tenants are living in homes with a potentially life-threatening fault, partly because some landlords are defying the rules on rental standards which were introduced to improve the quality of accommodation - leaving renters in substandard conditions.

Some 1.8million people reside in HMOs that do not have a carbon monoxide alarm, according to the English Housing Survey.

Tamara Sandoul, Housing Policy Manager at CIEH, said: “Far too many people are living in unsafe conditions, especially in the private rented sector. Improving dangerous housing should be a key priority for the government.”

Sandoul believes that local authorities should allocate adequate resources to housing teams to enable them to have the capacity and the expertise to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to finding rogue landlords.

She continued: “Whilst the size of the rented sector has increased dramatically, numbers of environmental health professionals simply have not kept pace. This must change.”

CIEH wants to see the government commit to a landlord registration scheme which would provide better information to local authorities, who are tasked with finding rogue landlords. Such schemes are already in place in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

“Carbon monoxide is a silent and odourless killer so tenants will not know if there is a danger,” Sandoul added. “We urge the government to introduce a requirement for carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all Private Rented Sector properties with gas-powered boilers to help save lives.”

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    i do think these figures are exaggerated some what, but yes action does need to be taken in some areas, don't forget council and housing assocs though they are not whiter than white here, push for too higher standards though and that will push lower end rents up which will result in more people sleeping rough on the streets

  • SCN Lettings

    I am sick and tired of all this rhetoric. Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Standard in all of our tenanted properties along with smoke alarms, EPCs, gas certs, PAT testing, furnishing fire compliance. Eighty - two year old mother in laws bungalow had a new boiler fitted last week. It's local authority property. I asked where the carbon monoxide alarm was. "No requirement to fit - it's not solid fuel" Which is correct. But for the sake of £15 do they want to put tenants lives at risk? Obviously they do. So before the PRS is criticised again perhaps local authorities environmental health should look at their own glass houses before they throw stones at private landlords and agents.

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    total bollox

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    Terry are you saying we should not fit smoke and CO alarms to all rented property

     
  • Peter David

    The risks will escalate as section 24 tax regulations carve away at landlords cash flow and profits. We are already no longer able to claim half our interest charges which means we have to provision for a very significantly enhanced income tax bill by the end of the year. This is money we would normally spend on refurbishing our portfolio and to maintain high standards. By 2020 the will be no cash left in the pot to support our tenants housing as the government will be applying the full swingeing decimation of profits through section 24 tax regulation. The government tenant tax (section 24) will definitely result in enhanced risks to life and limb within the PRS sector. I speak as a highly professional landlord. God only knows how less morally guided individuals will behave as landlords.

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    no--but that the article is bollox

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    Surely the answer is to compel tenants to spend £15 or so on a CO alarm of their own? Teach them a bit of self sufficiency and to take some responsibility for their own lives instead of nicking the batteries out of the alarms that most landlords always fit?

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