General standards for private sector housing
The system for assessing houses is called the housing health and safety rating system.
The key principle is that a dwelling should provide a safe and healthy environment for the occupants and visitors.
The inspection process is a risk based assessment and considers the effect of any hazards in the property.
Private rented accommodation should also meet legal standards. It is the landlord's responsibility to make sure it does.
All gas installations and appliances must be checked and maintained each year by a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered installer and meet the relevant regulations.
All electrical installations should be safe for use and work should be done by an appropriately certified and approved contractor. Work should meet the current regulations.
A certificate should always be provided in accordance with the regulations.
All furniture provided by the landlord must meet the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
This applies to anyone who rents out residential furnished (or part furnished) homes.
All private landlords must ensure that:
- at least one smoke alarm is installed on each floor of the property
- a carbon monoxide detector is installed in every room which contains a solid fuel burning appliance
Landlords who do not comply with the regulations face a fine of up to £5,000. This legislation is enforced by our Housing Standards Team.
Landlord training: Cumbria Landlord Accreditation Scheme (CLAS)
We take part in the Landlord Accreditation Scheme administered by the National Landlords Association (NLA).
The University of Cumbria require landlords to become accredited before advertising their properties to students on the university website.
Any landlord can become accredited with the NLA. Landlords can opt into a NLA membership package that suits their needs.
Benefits can include:
- access to free downloadable tenancy agreements
- regular legal updates
- a telephone helpline
- local landlord meetings
- access to subsidised training courses
In order to encourage more landlords to join the NLA and become accredited, we are offering some incentives.
We will pay the fee of the one day, foundation accreditation course for landlords to become accredited. For privately rented dwellings, we are offering to:
- supply and fit a fire blanket in the kitchen
- install free LED light bulbs to fixed lights
- pay £50 towards an electrical installation condition report (EICR)
(These offers do not apply to houses in multiple occupation or non-domestic properties and conditions apply)
Advice for private sector landlords
We provide information and advice to private sector landlords on a variety of subjects including:
- how to set up a tenancy
- difference between assured and assured shorthold tenancies
- landlord and tenant responsibilities and rights
- what to do when a tenancy ends
- how to end a tenancy
If you are in doubt about your legal rights or obligations you can also seek information from a law centre, your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or contact a solicitor.