General standards for private sector housing

Last Updated: 3 April 2024

Landlords of private sector housing must meet certain standards which are enforced by our Housing Standards team.

General standards

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.

Other requirements

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 inspected and tested by a 'qualified and competent' person at least once every five years.

Gas and electrical certificates should 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.

Guidance notes for landlords on the enforcement of housing standards

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.

Statement of Principles (PDF/203KB/3 pages)

Landlord training: Cumbria Landlord Accreditation Scheme (CLAS)

We take part in the Landlord Accreditation Scheme administered by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

The University of Cumbria require landlords to become accredited before advertising their properties to students. 

Any landlord can become accredited with the NRLA and can opt into a NRLA 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 NRLA and become accredited, we are offering some incentives.

For landlords who rent out property within South Lakeland District area, we will pay the fee of the one day, foundation accreditation course for landlords to become accredited. 

We offer a 10% discount on HMO licences to accredited landlords.

Renting out your property: advice for landlords (England and Wales)