Open letter from Chris Pincher, Minister of State for Housing to all Landlords

Housing minister Chris Pincher has written an open letter to all Landlords in England. As part of a ‘Winter Plan’, Pincher states that “the Government’s aims to sustain the progress made in tackling the virus and prepare the country for future challenges, while ensuring the NHS does not come under substantial pressure during this period.”

“Letting fresh air into indoor spaces can help remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus that causes COVID-19. In poorly ventilated rooms the amount of virus in the air can build up, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19. Good ventilation will not only help reduce transmission of the virus but will also help reduce condensation, dampness, mould and fungal growth and dust mites.”

Here are the five key messages in Pincher’s letter:

  1. Ensure that all habitable rooms have functioning openable windows (including providing replacement keys where these have been misplaced/lost) – ideally with opening areas of at least 1/20th of the floor area
  1. Ensure that all bathrooms/kitchens have either functioning openable windows and/or (preferably both) appropriate functioning extract ventilation;
  1. Consider installing positive pressure or constant run ventilation systems to ensure there is adequate background ventilation and to reduce the likelihood of condensation, and ensure that such systems are operating effectively, with filters etc replaced at appropriate intervals
  1. Ensure that tenants have clear instructions and understand how to operate ventilation and heating systems, and are advised on the best ways to achieve a healthy and economic balance of heating, ventilations and moisture productions within the home
  1. Ensure that problems with damp are fully investigated and addressed promptly

In his letter, the Government also requests that Landlords prioritize any planned or known works that might improve ventilation. For more information about the letter, it can be viewed or downloaded here.

If you are unsure as a Landlord what to look for to help improve ventilation, speak to your Letting agent or call Belvoir Cambridge on 01223 352225.