Landlords who are leasing properties through the council are legally obligated to ensure that they meet the Decent Homes Standard. This policy was introduced by the government as part of their Decent Homes Programme, and is designed to ensure that people have access to safe, comfortable, quality accommodation.
In order to meet the Decent Homes Standard, a property must meet the following criteria.
- It must meet the conditions of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), which means it is free of Category 1 hazards. In some cases, it may not be feasible for the potential hazard to be remedied, in which case landlords should make sure occupants are fully informed about potential dangers.
- All key building components, such as the roof, doors, windows, and chimneys, must be in a reasonable state of repair, with no leaks or other issues. Gas and electrical systems must be safe and properly installed.
- The property must be weatherproof and there must be a reasonable level of thermal comfort, with sufficient insulation and heating systems.
- The facilities must be reasonably modern. This means the kitchen must be less than 20 years old, the bathroom must be less than 30 years old, and all rooms must have a suitable layout and sufficient space for day to day living.
Since being introduced, this scheme has improved life for many tenants. Although the Decent Homes Standard only applies to council housing, all landlords have a duty to make sure their properties are in suitable condition, whether they are involved in council leasing or private lettings.
A property that is safe and well maintained will help you to attract high quality tenants, keep them happy throughout their entire tenancy, and possibly allow you to charge a higher rental rate. Keeping your property well looked after also help you to avoid the risk of complaints and possible legal action in the future, making it one of the most vital considerations for landlords. As specialists with property management in Greenwich and the rest of London, we can help to ensure your property is kept in excellent repair.