16 Mar 23
Haringey Council has been hauled up for not completing fire and electrical checks at thousands of its properties, despite handing a private landlord £2,500 for the same failing.
The Regulator of Social Housing found the authority had breached parts 1.1 and 1.2 of the Home Standard, resulting in the potential for “serious detriment” to tenants.
It also found that 30% of Haringey’s properties did not meet the Decent Homes Standard and identified more than 100 Category One hazards.
Haringey had referred itself to the regulator in January, acknowledging a failure to meet statutory health and safety requirements in some of its homes.
A review found that many blocks did not have a current Fire Risk Assessment and a very large number of fire remedial actions were overdue.
More than 4,000 of these overdue actions were high risk, with half overdue for more than 12 months. Many blocks were without a communal Electrical Installation Condition Report and Haringey was unable to confirm that about 4,000 properties had had a domestic EICR completed within the last 10 years.
However, in January, a Haringey landlord failed in his attempt to have a £2,500 fine thrown out by a First Tier Property Tribunal after being fined by the council’s private sector housing team for letting an unlicensed three-storey HMO in Hornsey Park Road.
Inspectors ruled that the property also posed a high risk to the tenants because it didn’t have adequate fire protection or a detection system.
The council says it has started to put in place an urgent programme to rectify all failures.
An NRLA spokesman says it is seriously concerned that Haringey Council failed to undertake fire and electrical safety checks for every one of the homes it rents out that need one.
“The council needs to hold itself to the same standards that it expects of private sector landlords,” he adds. “Whoever the landlord is should rightly be held to account to ensure they are meeting all their legal obligations.”
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