New standards for rented accommodation have come into force since the 01st July,2017.
This further updates the previous revision of 2009 and so Landlords should be aware of their obligations under these regulations.
Known as the Housing Standards for Rented House Regulations 2017,many of the regulations are straightforward and involve common sense but in brief, some of the particular standards are:
– The property should be in a “proper state of structural repair” – no dampness whilst the roof, floors, ceiling, walls and stairs should be in good repair.
– A bathroom should be equipped with bath or shower whilst hot and cold water should be available in the house.
– Every room used for habitation should have an appliance capable of providing heat.
– Every room should have a suitable means of ventiliation to remove fumes and / or vapour.
– The property should be provided with:
4 ring hob with oven & grill
Hot & cold water
Food presses for storage
Washing machine or access to a washing machine.
Where there are no external facilities for drying clothes, a dryer should be provided.
All the above appliances are the responsibility of the Landlord to maintain or repair.
– In terms of fire safety, the following apply:
The House should contain a fire blanket and either a mains-wired smoke alarm or at least two 10 year self-contained battery operated smoke alarms.
In the case of a multi unit building (eg an apartment block), there should be a mains wired smoke alarm, fire blanket & evacuation plan provided. In addition, emergency lighting linked to the fire alarm system should be provided in common areas.
The property should have access to adequate pest and vermin proof refuse storage facilities.
Updates to the regulations in 2017 also introduced the need for carbon monoxide alarms;
“Each house shall contain,where necessary,suitably located devices for the detection and alarm of carbon monoxide”
It also specified safety features on upstairs windows;
“Where a window has an opening section through which a person may fall,and the bottom of the opening section is more than 1400mm above external ground level, suitable safety restrictors shall be fitted. Safety restrictors shall restrain the window sufficiently to prevent such falls”
For a full look at the Housing Standards for Rented Houses regulations 2017, you can see it full here