PREMISES SAFETY - 25.08.2017

Social housing providers warned to comply

Intervention. Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the regulator of social housing in England, the Homes and Communities Agency, has written an open letter to all registered providers (see The next step ). The letter reminds them of their obligations for the health and safety of occupants in their homes.

What does it say? The letter signposts part 1.2 (b) of the regulator’s home standard which requires that registered providers must “meet all applicable statutory requirements that provide for the health and safety of occupants in their homes” . The letter goes on to emphasise that this obligation applies in full, to the provider, even where some parts of the service are delivered via a third party, “Contracting out delivery of services does not contract out responsibility to meet the requirements of legislation or standards” .

Tip 1. Providers of housing (not only social housing) are under increasing scrutiny by tenant organisations, insurers and regulatory organisations. If you’re involved in this sector whether as an owner, maintenance contractor, association or local authority, it’s time to review your arrangements and ensure they comply.

Tip 2. Broadly, the areas to consider are: (1) have you identified all of your legal obligations? (2) have you put in place robust arrangements to meet them?; and (3) can you prove it?

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, social housing providers have been warned that they must meet their health and safety obligations whether they undertake work directly or via contractors. All those in the housing sector need to up their game on health and safety.

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