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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Safety advice for rented homes

If a tenant believes that their home is unsafe it is recommended that they should firstly contact their Landlord to discuss their concerns. You can also contact us for further advice or to discuss a property inspection under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Electrical safety standards

From the 1 of July 2020 it has been a legal requirement that landlords forming new tenancies get the properties electrical installation inspected and tested by a competent electrician. Landlords need to obtain an appropriate written report detailing the electrical installations safety and any required improvements. From the 1 April 2021 the new rules will apply to all existing tenancies.

The new rules mean that:

  • if your tenancy started on or after the 1 of July 2020 your landlord should have got the electrical installation at your home checked and provided you with a copy of the inspection report.
  • if the report shows that remedial work or further investigative work is required, this must be completed within 28 days
  • your landlord must then supply you with written confirmation the necessary work has been completed. Dorset Council should also be notified that the necessary remedial work has been carried out

If your tenancy started before the 1 of July 2020, the new rules will apply to your landlord from the 1 April 2021. If you think your landlord has not followed the new rules you can report it to us.

Further information is available on the Gov.uk website.

Furniture

All furniture provided by the landlord must comply with the provisions contained in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. This applies to anyone who rents out residential furnished (or part furnished) accommodation which includes the supply of furniture, furnishings and other upholstered products. For more details, visit the Citizens Advice website

Gas safety

It is a legal requirement that landlords ensure all gas appliances supplied within a rented home are subject to a safety check at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If your home uses gas ask your landlord for a copy of the up to date safety check. If your landlord fails to carry out this check then this should be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

In the event of a gas emergency call 0800 111 999.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detection

From the 1 October 2015 all rented homes should be provided with a smoke detector on each storey where there is living accommodation.  Also rented homes that have solid fuel burning appliances should have a carbon monoxide detector in the room where the appliance is situated.  Further information is available from your local housing team and the Department for Communities and Local Government Q and A Guide.

Renting a Safe Home

The government have produced a guide; Renting a Safe Home to help tenants to know what to look for to identify if your home is safe to live in.

Deposit Protection

If your landlord or letting agents asks for a deposit, they are required to protect it from the start of the tenancy in a government approved scheme. Some schemes hold the money and some insure it.

The "How to Rent" handbook 

The "How to Rent" handbookis a government approved guide to renting and letting. Designed with both landlords and tenants in mind, it provides a checklist for renting and explains the rights and responsibilities of both parties. From the 1 February 2016 landlords are obliged to provide an up to date copy of this guide to new tenants and those on renewed tenancies.

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