Free gas and electrical checks are being offered to landlords in Barrow-in-Furness to encourage them to accept people at risk of homelessness.

The social housing shortage across Cumbria has forced some local authorities to think of new ways to increase the housing stock.

Barrow Borough Council has decided to address the problem by trying to encourage more private landlords to take on new tenants by launching a new scheme.

Aside from free gas and electricity checks, incentives also include smoke and CO2 detectors, designed to ensure that the properties meet the council's safety standards.

Councillor Dave Pidduck, chair of the committee and leader of Barrow Council, “It’s an initiative that is really important.

If we can get landlords to join the scheme that will be for the benefit of the town but also for them. They will benefit working with the local council.

If fully implemented this incentive scheme will allow the council to offer six to 12 month tenancies for those presenting to the council's homelessness service.

Councillor Brendan Sweeney said: “It’s a no brainer. There is a huge number of private sector houses in the borough and there are really good landlords used to taking people in.

This is encouraging more to have a go at it.

For landlords in the UK, there is still a compulsory five year electrical check, under new rules announced last month.

Here at Simple Landlords Insurance we have a guide to fire safety procedures, including regulations for rented properties and other useful resources. Also check out our Electrical Safety regulations guide.