Councils concerned about fire safety in private rentals

New research has revealed that fire safety standards in private rental properties are amongst the biggest concerns for councils in the UK, along with gas and electrical safety.

The survey of 178 councils throughout the UK, undertaken by the Electrical Safety Council and the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), found that that fire safety, gas and electrical safety standards in the sector were the amongst the biggest concerns for councils. At present, landlord are not legally required to carry out basic safety checks like testing electricals or giving their tenants safety certificates, nor do they have to have fire safety training or employ someone who does to check properties before they are rented out.

The study also revealed that 8 out of 10 councils expect their local authorities to take more action in relation to issues with the private rental sector in the future. A staggering 95 per cent think that they themselves have a key role to play in this industry.

The mayor of Newham – which recently launched the first council-wide compulsory licensing scheme for private landlords – Sir Robin Wales, recently said on these issues:

“We want to ensure that private sector rented properties are well managed and meet a good standard.
“There are good landlords in Newham and we want to work with them. Unfortunately there are also some unscrupulous ones – which our licensing scheme is robustly tackling.”