TrustMark, a Government endorsed quality scheme for tradespeople, is launching a pilot in partnership with East Sussex Trading Standards to improve the quality and energy efficiency of rented accommodation within Hastings and its surrounding area.
The initiative, ‘Better Homes for Hastings’, kicked off with an event hosted in partnership with Hastings Borough Council on March 15. It brought together private landlords, housing associations, tenants and businesses, including TrustMark registered businesses, in the Hastings area to promote the minimum standards of safety, comfort, health and energy efficiency that these properties should ideally meet.
The event not only educated tenants about their rights and encouraged the comfort and health factors in rented accommodation, but it also addressed the issue of fuel poverty through the improvement of energy efficiency measures, which is a key concern in this region.
Private landlords, housing associations and letting agents also had the opportunity to learn about the incoming regulations relating to energy efficiency standards in rental properties, and the event also connected them with reputable businesses and tradespeople to help ensure their properties meet these requirements.
Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark, says, “We are really excited to be working in collaboration with East Sussex Trading Standards and Hastings Borough Council on this project and to have the opportunity to educate both landlords and tenants on the importance of improving the quality of rented homes, particularly when it is detrimental to good health. Tenants and landlords need to be confident that the tradespeople they employ to carry out any work on their properties meet the required industry standards. By using a TrustMark registered business, they can be sure that the tradespeople have been vetted to ensure levels of technical competency, customer service and trading practices and are in accordance with Government endorsed quality. Together, we will work to drive standards upwards and enhance the safety, comfort, health and energy efficiency of Hastings rental properties.”
Andy Batsford, Lead Councillor for Housing for Hastings Borough Council, adds, “Housing is the third highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. This event brought together landlords and those involved in the improvement of residential energy efficiency to encourage the improvement of standards in the private rented sector, which not only benefits tenants – many of whom maybe living in fuel poverty – but also the UK’s wider greenhouse gas reduction targets.”
The Hastings pilot is part of a series of events designed to help the Government meet ambitious targets about reduced carbon emissions and fuel poverty. A further project is planned for Cornwall during 2019.