Housing standards and disrepair
The Private Sector Housing team will respond to requests regarding housing defects and risk assess them according to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). There are 29 different classes of hazard ranging from damp, excess cold, fire to falls on stairs, structural stability and so on.
Please ensure you have reported any disrepair to your landlord or letting agent and give them sufficient time to complete remedial works prior to contacting us.
Landlords will normally be given an opportunity to deal with defects on an informal basis. Where landlords fail to address significant hazards the council has the authority to take enforcement action. The decision to pursue enforcement action will be made by Officers who are professionally qualified to assess hazards under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004. Enforcement action would typically involve service of an Improvement Notice (requiring works) or a Prohibition Order (to prevent use or occupation). Subject to the Council's Enforcement Policy, non-compliance could then result in a prosecution or a civil penalty.
Category 1 hazards are the most serious hazards and banded A-C. Officers have a duty to take action in respect of these.
Category 2 hazards are less serious and banded D-J. Officers have discretion to take action for these and will generally only consider enforcement action for hazards which are banded D-E.
For more information on how we consider enforcement issues please see our Enforcement Policy.
Charges for service of enforcement notices
There is an administrative charge of £200 for serving an Improvement or Prohibition Notice served on one interested party (typically the landlord) and an administrative charge of £250 when there is more than one interested party.
The penalty for failing to fit a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm where required is £750 if paid within 14 days, or £1000 if paid after 14 days.
If you have been issued with a notice and have an invoice you can pay online.
Filthy and verminous premises
Our Environmental Protection team will act on complaints concerning filthy and verminous premises. These will be dealt with in a firm but sympathetic manner either by agreement or by the serving of a statutory notice as necessary.
Landlords have a responsibility to manage the tenants disposal and storage of refuse at their properties. Visit the private landlord page for further guidance.
People who believe they live in overcrowded conditions should contact the Private Sector Housing Team for an assessment as to whether their dwelling is legally overcrowded as defined by the Housing Act 1985. This legal standard takes account of living rooms as accommodation that could be used for sleeping purposes.
When overcrowding is reported we will request the dimensions of all rooms and details of all occupiers before an inspection is arranged.
Damp and mould
We receive increased requests for assistance due to damp and mould over the colder months. There are several causes of damp and mould including penetrating and rising damp which may require repairs to the property, however in many cases where condensation is the issue there is some advice you can implement to improve conditions.
When you contact us to report damp and mould, we will ask for photos of the issue which show the extent of the problem and the area affected. We ask that you first report the issue to your landlord and give them time to investigate.