Enforcing housing standards
This section describes the Council's role in enforcing housing standards in the private sector.
The Council works to ensure that private sector accommodation has risks from health and safety hazards removed or minimised and that it is suitable and safe for the number of people living there.
This applies to privately owned homes and private rented accommodation - though most of our work involves rented accommodation.
The Council responds to complaints from private tenants and carries out inspections of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
The Council has powers to serve enforcement notices on landlords which order that they make any improvements to accommodation the Council deems as necessary.
If the landlord fails to comply the Council has powers to prosecute the landlord through the courts or carry out the works in default.
Dealing with complaints about rented housing
The Council deals with a variety of complaints including dampness, homes in disrepair, drainage problems and dirty and/or vermin-infested premises.
Certain extra laws apply to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). There is a requirement for the Council to licence certain HMOs if they meet the following criteria:
- they have three storeys or more (including commercial use). Roof conversions and basements will be counted as storeys if used as living accommodation
- it is occupied by five or more persons (including children)
- it is occupied by people living in two or more households.
HMO Licence PDFs
- HMO Licence Application Form (PDF document [60.5Kb])
- HMO Licence Information Leaflet (PDF document [35.8Kb])
- HMO Notes Leaflet (PDF document [43.8Kb])
- HMO Standards Leaflet (PDF document [35Kb])
- HMO Management Standards for all HMOs (PDF document [35.5Kb])
The Council has an Enforcement Policy which explains what legal powers it has and in what circumstances it my use them. To see an extract from the Enforcement Policy about private sector housing click on the link below.
In some circumstances the Council is able to secure derelict houses and flats that are a risk to public health and/or are open to unauthorised access.
For further information contact:
Housing and Pollution
Tel: 01737 276406
Rents for private properties
The Council does not deal with disputes between landlords and tenants about the level of rent for private rented properties; the Council also does not set 'Fair Rents'.
These services are carried out by the Valuation Office Agency - working on behalf of of HM Revenue & Customs.
Last updated : 11/06/2012