Letting agencies urged to complete health and safety review

Jake Carter

March 19, 2021

Letting agencies are being encouraged by PayProp to complete a survey as part of the government’s two-year review of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

The rental payment provider outlined that agents are free to share the survey with landlords and, via a different link, with tenants, as their input is also being sought by the government.

The HHSRS provides local authorities with the means to check health and safety in residential properties, information they can then use to advise or order landlords to carry out improvements.

Neil Cobbold, chief sales officer at PayProp, said: “Completing the HHSRS survey is valuable for letting agencies, landlords and tenants as their input could have a bearing on future private rental housing standards.

“The rental sector has evolved considerably since the HHSRS was introduced in 2006. Therefore, it’s vital that the system is updated to reflect the current market. Letting agents can now help develop smarter, more realistic regulation for rented homes.”

Cobbold outlined that sub-standard homes are still an issue in the private rental sector.

The most recent English Housing Survey found that 13% of privately rented properties contained a category one hazard.

The current review is the second phase of the government’s plan to update the HHSRS.

The first phase was launched in October 2018, although no results or updates were made public.

Cobbold added: “These surveys inviting feedback from all stakeholders are a positive step forward and it suggests an outcome of the HHSRS review may be on the horizon.

“It’s crucial that the HHSRS is updated to ensure guidance on property hazards is brought in line with current expectations and standards.

“New regulations introduced since the first phase of the HHSRS review, such as the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act and requirements for mandatory electrical checks in rental properties, could also affect how property hazards are monitored in the future.”

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