Keeping rented homes safe
If you’re a landlord letting out a home
You have responsibilities relating to:
- keeping your properties safe and free from health hazards
- having a gas safety certificate
- having an electrical certificate
- having smoke detectors installed on each floor
- having carbon monoxide detectors installed in rooms with solid fuel heating
- providing an energy performance certificate
- protecting your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme
- complying with extra requirements if your property is a house in multiple occupation
A lack of knowledge could prove costly. More information on renting out a home is available from Gov.UK.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) advice
If you have responsibility as a landlord, whether in the social rented sector or private rental sector, you can help efforts to encourage behaviours to help combat the virus and cascade the message of the importance of good ventilation to your residents.
To support the health of your residents, there are several things you, as a landlord, should do to enable ventilation in and around your residents' homes:
- ensure that all habitable rooms have functioning openable windows (including providing replacement keys where these have been misplaced/lost) - ideally with opening areas of at least one twentieth of the floor area
- ensure that all bathrooms/kitchens have either functioning openable windows and/or (preferably both) appropriate functioning extract ventilation
- consider installing positive pressure or constant run ventilation systems to ensure there is adequate background ventilation and to reduce the likelihood of condensation, and ensure that such systems are operating effectively, with filters etc. replaced at appropriate intervals
- ensure that tenants have clear instructions and understand how to operate ventilation and heating systems, and are advised on the best ways to achieve a healthy and economic balance of heating, ventilation and moisture production within the home
- ensure that problems with damp are fully investigated and addressed promptly
We also request that you prioritise as far as possible any planned or known works that might improve ventilation, such as repairing broken safety catches on windows for those concerned about security or a fall hazard.
Opening windows for an extended period of time may present certain issues for residents - including health issues. We would ask that those cascading this advice exercise your professional judgement in caveats in relation to this guidance, based on your specific residents/housing.
Help with energy costs
We are aware that some residents will be reticent to ventilate their homes in the winter temperatures, especially in the current climate of rising fuel costs. Therefore, we would recommend sharing the below options for support.
There is advice available about how to keep warm and well. If your residents are having difficulty heating their homes, they may be able to claim financial and practical help. Residents should visit the Simple Energy Advice website for information about the help that is available or call their helpline on 0800 444 202.
Ofgem has further advice on what to do if they are struggling to pay their energy bills.
Depending on their circumstances and other criteria, they may also be eligible for support with their energy bills. The Warm Home Discount supports low income and vulnerable households. Please see the Warm Home Discount webpages for further information on eligibility and how to apply for the scheme.
The cold weather payment and winter fuel payment also help vulnerable households with their winter energy costs.
If your tenants are in in financial distress during this time, they should talk to their energy supplier, who will be able to discuss personal circumstances and consider options to help, including reassessing, reducing or pausing payments.