The government has explained the obligations for fire safety in PRS homes.
The statement was made in response to a written question from Rachel Reeves MP (Labour, Leeds West) who asked what steps DCLG is taking to ensure that recommended fire safety standards are met in private sector housing.
Communities and Local Government Minister, Marcus Jones MP said: “All homes should be of a reasonable standard and all tenants should have a safe place to live.
“Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords have a general obligation to ensure that they keep in repair the structure and exterior of any property they rent out.
“Local authorities have strong and effective powers to deal with poor quality unsafe accommodation and we expect them to use those powers.
“Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, local authorities can issue an Improvement Notice or a Hazard Awareness Notice if they find a defect in the property.
“In extreme circumstances, the local authority may decide to make repairs themselves, or to prohibit that property from being rented out.
“The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places a duty on housing providers to undertake a fire risk assessment of the common parts of their properties and to put in place and maintain adequate fire precautions to manage the risk that lives could be lost in a fire. The Order is enforced by fire and rescue authorities.”
The RLA is currently campaigning for greater clarity around rules, regulations and responsibilities regarding fire safety across all tenures.
It has prepared a document offering help and advice to members, including details of what legislation applies to different types of property and practical advice on how to keep tenants safe and help with fire risk assessment. For further details, click here.
It has also called on landlords to check white goods against recall registers.
RLA vice-chair Douglas Haig has spoken on BBC Radio 5 live about the complexity of existing legislation and where responsibilities for different parts of tower blocks lie. To listen to the interview access the Wake Up to Money podcast here.