Social housing providers and local authorities are being urged to take advantage of a soon to be launched Ventilation MOT, to ensure they don’t fall foul of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.
The Ventilation MOT, developed by Cornerstone Professional Services with technical input from residential ventilation specialists Homevent, is a systematic assessment that allows certified surveyors to input data on existing ventilation measures into an app. In turn, this rates the strategy, and informs the user whether or not the property provides ‘adequate ventilation’. If it doesn’t, then advice is given on how to reach the required threshold.
It is a challenge that has become even more important in recent years following the introduction of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act in 2018, which put the onus on landlords to provide adequate ventilation or, to quote government guidance, “enough ventilation” for tenants. It is said this is not easy to define, particularly in older properties where a mixture of different ventilation measures may have been implemented over the years.
John Bradley, Managing Director at Homevent, commented: “While newer homes can use Approved Document F as a benchmark to demonstrate regulatory compliance, this is not always possible for the vast majority of social housing. Until the launch of the Ventilation MOT, it has been difficult to swiftly provide a methodological analysis of an existing home’s ventilation.
“This has meant assessments of a dwelling’s ventilation strategy is in the hands of individual specialists, with no standardised process or set of criteria. This is less than ideal from a landlord’s perspective, who needs to know that their property is compliant with the Homes Act to ensure they don’t fall foul of any tenant complaints. That’s where the Ventilation MOT is key.”
David Bly, Director at Cornerstone Professional Services said: “It is in everyone’s interest to raise standards across the industry but, the associated challenges and lack of clarity for older dwellings was making this almost impossible for landlords to do”.
“We commissioned John and the Homevent team to help develop the Ventilation MOT owing to their technical knowledge and experience of ventilation in existing residential settings. Indoor air quality is high on the news agenda for a number of reasons at the moment, so the time is right to help landlords in delivering adequate ventilation to their tenants.”
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