The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has said the government should ensure there is an “urgent improvement” to dangerous housing across the UK – starting with carbon monoxide alarms as a requirement for all Private Rented Sector (PRS) properties
The CIEH says such action should be a “key priority” in the wake of revelations of around three quarters of a million people living in unsafe or unsanitary shared homes – some with potentially life-threatening faults.
Tamara Sandoul, Housing Policy Manager at CIEH, said whilst the size of the rented sector has increased dramatically, numbers of environmental health professionals simply have not kept pace.
“This must change, local authorities should allocate adequate resources to housing teams to enable them to have the capacity and the expertise to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to finding rogue landlords,” Sandoul said.
New analysis from The Times – in the aftermath of the deaths of two men of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning living in unlicensed shared housing – suggests that at least 375,000 such tenants are in homes with a potentially life-threatening fault.
CIEH wants to see the Government commit to a landlord registration scheme which would provide better information to local authorities, who are tasked with finding rogue landlords.
Such schemes are already in place in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Sandoul specifically cited carbon monoxide safety as an issue where an immediate difference could be made, urging the Government to introduce a requirement for carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all Private Rented Sector properties with gas-powered boilers, to prevent dangerous housing.