A wide-ranging review of health and safety regulations for the private rental sector is to be undertaken by the government, it was announced last week.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said that under current rules, local councils are required to ensure private rental properties in their area meet safety standards using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and are able to force landlords to take action where tenants are languishing in unsafe accommodation.

It continues: “Yet the system hasn’t been updated in over 12 years, and a new review of the system will consider whether it should be updated and if so, to what extent.

"The review will also look at whether to introduce minimum standards for common health and safety problems in rental accommodation in order to keep renters safe.”

The government says it wants to crack down “on the small minority of landlords that are renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation; and ensuring the housing market works for everyone.”

The review will also look into carbon monoxide alarm provisions.

Current rules state that alarms must be fitted in privately rented homes with solid fuel appliances and when solid fuel stoves and boilers are installed.

The review will judge whether legislation goes far enough in keeping people safe from the risks of carbon monoxide in their homes, and whether there should be a blanket requirement to install alarms for other methods of heating, including gas and oil, and to social housing.

Housing minister Heather Wheeler MP says: “Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own home.

"By looking again at these rules, we can make sure that they are working as they should to keep people safe and give them peace of mind in their homes."