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Safety measures for private sector must also apply to social housing: Law Society

New safety measures in the private rented sector should also apply to social housing, the Law Society has said, arguing that “there is no logic for having different safety standards between private and social housing”.

Responding to a Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government consultation, A New Deal for Social Housing, Chancery Lane added that holding private and social landlords to the same standards of safety would help to ensure a consistent approach to regulation.

The Law Society also said in its response that:

  • It is “imperative that landlords have in place transparent processes to ensure that it is easy for residents to raise issues, and that there is also transparency about the steps that have been taken to handle and resolve complaints. Support should be provided to educate residents on safety issues and help them engage. Resident involvement groups should also be empowered and encouraged to make fire safety a priority.”
  • Landlords should be given adequate provision and funding to be able to enforce the current decent homes standard. “If any changes are to be made, the standard should incorporate provision for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.”
  • Legal aid must be made available to enable tenants of social housing to enforce the full range of their rights, especially when it comes to a question of fitness for human habitation.

The Law Society’s response can be viewed here.