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Services in Christchurch

Safety advice for rented homes

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice and guidance

Advice and guidance is available to help support those that are privately renting during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

See further information about changes to services.

If a tenant believes that their home is unsafe it is recommended that they should firstly contact their landlord to discuss their concerns. You can also contact the council for further advice or to discuss a property inspection under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Electrical installations

It is recommended that all fixed electrical installations are checked periodically by a competent electrician. For HMO's (bedsits and shared houses) this should be completed every 5 years. For more information visit the Electrical Safety First website.


All furniture provided by the landlord must comply with the provisions contained in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. This applies to anyone who rents out residential furnished (or part furnished) accommodation which includes the supply of furniture, furnishings and other upholstered products. For more details, visit the Citizens Advice website.

Gas safety

It is a legal requirement that landlords ensure all gas appliances supplied within a rented home are subject to a safety check at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If your home uses gas ask your landlord for a copy of the up to date safety check. If your landlord fails to carry out this check then this should be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

In the event of a gas emergency call 0800 111 999.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detection

From the 1 October 2015 all rented homes should be provided with a smoke detector on each storey where there is living accommodation. Also rented homes that have solid fuel burning appliances should have a carbon monoxide detector in the room where the appliance is situated. Further information is available from your local housing team and the Department for Communities and Local Government Q and A Guide.

Renting a safe home

The government have produced a guide; Renting a Safe Home to help tenants to know what to look for to identify if your home is safe to live in.

Deposit protection

If your landlord or letting agents ask for a deposit, they are required to protect it from the start of the tenancy in a government approved scheme. Some schemes hold the money and some insure it.

The "How to Rent" handbook

The "How to Rent" handbook is a government approved guide to renting and letting. Designed with both landlords and tenants in mind, it provides a checklist for renting and explains the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Since the 1st of February 2016, landlords have been obliged to provide an up to date copy of this guide to new tenants and those on renewed tenancies.


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