Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a decent home. The Housing Standards team's role is to ensure that housing is safe to live in, and that landlords carry out their legal responsibilities to maintain the property. Our policy about how we enforce housing legislation can be found on the Enforcement Policy page.
The Government has produced guidance for landlords and tenants in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you rent your home from a landlord and you are unhappy with the condition of the property, we can:
- give you advice about how to resolve the issues with your landlord
- inspect your home and rate any hazards using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System
- liaise with your landlord to get the repairs carried out
- take enforcement action to get the repairs carried out under the Housing Act 2004.
Typical things you might be worried about include damp and mould, no heating, fire safety risks, dangerous electrics, concerns about gas safety, and other safety issues in your home.
You should always report the repairs to your landlord or letting agent before contacting us. You should put your concerns to them in writing. You need to give them a reasonable time to carry out the repairs and allow them access to the property to inspect what needs to be done and carry out the works. 'Reasonable time' is dependent on the type of repairs needed.
If you are not satisfied with your landlord's response, you can ask us to inspect the property.
If you are unhappy with the service of a letting agent or property management firm, see redress schemes.
Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have made temporary changes to the way we deliver our service. We will discuss your situation on the telephone, and we may ask you to share photos, video or other way of us being able to see what the problems are in your home. This will help us to assess the level of risk to you, so we can decide the most appropriate course of action. If an inspection is required, it may take up up to 6 weeks for us to visit your home.
More information about getting repairs carried out to your property is available on the Shelter website.
Advice for landlords
If you are a landlord, we can offer you advice and information about your responsibilities as a landlord, including information about gas safety, fire safety, electrical safety requirements, licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation, and energy efficiency, help to improve heating, hot water and insulation, and energy performance certificates.
Landlords must make sure that at the start of each tenancy there are working smoke alarms installed, and in some cases carbon monoxide alarms will also be required. Failure to comply may result in a fixed penalty fine of up to £5,000 being issued to the landlord. For further information on how The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015 is applied and how the level of fine will be determined, please read our Statement of Principles (PDF, 174KB).
We use Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 to assess the health and safety risks in housing. If we identify hazards we will consider what is the best way to bring about improvements, which could result in formal enforcement action. We will always have regard to the severity of the hazard(s) when deciding the course of action we take, and wherever possible will liaise with the owner and / or the person having control of the property to resolve the issues amicably.
Where this is not possible, or the hazard is too severe, or there is a high risk of imminent harm, we will serve a notice requiring action to be taken. We issue charges for the service of these notices (correct at 1 April 2022):
- Hazard Awareness Notice - £nil
- Improvement Notice - £329
- Prohibition Order - £329
- Emergency Prohibition Order - £329
- Demolition Order - £518
- Emergency Remedial Action Notice - £378
- Review of suspended improvement notice / prohibition order - £136
If you need us to inspect your property and produce a report for immigration purposes, there is a charge of £100.
Contact the housing standards team
Page last reviewed: 04 April 2022
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