If you rent your home, whether from a private landlord or a housing association, Housing Services provide advice and guidance on acceptable housing conditions. We provide inspection services and enforcement of the regulations.
What do I do if there is a problem with my home?
If there a problem with repairs or conditions at your property then initially you must contact your landlord, preferably in writing, to inform them of the problem. You may wish to use this letter template to inform your landlord of problems. If after a reasonable time period the landlord refuses to complete repairs then you should contact the Housing Standards and Improvement Team on 01225 396444 for advice. You may wish to send this letter informing your landlord that you are contacting the Council.
What is a “reasonable time period” to complete a repair once a fault has been reported?
Emergency repairs - 24 hours (Affecting health or safety e.g. major electrical fault, blocked WC).
Urgent repairs - 5 working days (Affecting material comfort e.g. hot water, heating or fridge failure, serious roof leak).
Other non-urgent repairs - 20 working days
What are acceptable housing conditions?
Acceptable housing conditions are based on the potential risk to an occupant’s health and safety. The legislation that applies is the Housing Act 2004 “Housing Health and Safety Rating System”. The rating system is not a standard in itself so it will be hard to say if something is definitely a hazard before it is assessed. Having said that, lots of hazards can be identified through common sense, so for example if there are single glazed draughty windows in your house then it will probably mean there will be a risk of poor health to the occupants from cold and draughts. Please refer to the tenants guide to renting a safe home.
If you are having problems with damp and mould please see our advice sheet. Housing Services cannot ask the landlord to improve the internal decoration of a property.
What happens if I complain to Housing Services?
- An officer will contact you to discuss the problems and decide if we will be able to help or not.
- If we can help a visit to your property wil be arranged between 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday.
- When this is arranged, the officer will contact your landlord to inform them of the inspection. We must inform your landlord of the inspection.
- If we identify the property requires repairs because it is unsafe or the property fails to meet other applicable standards then we will take action.
- We can request the landlord completes the work to the property either informally or by service of legal notice to ensure compliance with minimum legal housing standards. If the works are not completed satisfactorily then we may take further action.
- The Housing Health and Safety Rating System page contains further information.
Housing Services must inform your landlord of our intention to inspect your property. If you do not wish for us to contact your landlord then unfortunately we will not be able to inspect your property.
Please see our service standards guide for further information on what you can expect from Housing Services.