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Disrepair and unsafe properties

The Council has powers under the Housing Act 2004 to deal with disrepair issues in privately rented properties where landlords have failed to act. Where an inspection is required, an assessment using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is carried out.

HHSRS inspections give 'hazard scores' for 29 health and safety areas. The scores are based on the risk of harm to an actual or potential occupier of a dwelling which results from a deficiency in the dwelling, and the seriousness of that harm.

The hazard scores are banded from A to J with band A being the highest risk. Hazards that are in bands A to C are classified as Category 1 hazards and the remainder are classified as Category 2 hazards.

Issues commonly reported to the Councils are:

  • Inadequate heating
  • Damp and mould issues
  • Unsafe electrics
  • Lack of fire detection
  • Dangerous stairs
  • Security issues (broken locks and glazing)

If you need some repairs carried out to your home then you must contact your landlord or managing/letting agent before asking the council to act for you.

It is important that you report the repairs to your landlord in writing. You can use our Request for Repairs letter template for this purpose: 

You need to fill in your name and address, the landlord’s (or agent’s) name and address and what works need to be fixed, in the relevant boxes. Then you need to send the letter to your landlord and keep a copy. Also keep copies of any replies you get.

Your landlord or letting agent has 14 days to sort out the problems. If, however, you have a problem that is really dangerous, you do not have to wait 14 days and should let your landlord know as soon as possible. Also let us know if they do not fix it immediately. Examples of this may be a gas leak, a major plumbing leak, dangerous electrical sockets, a collapsing roof, etc.

If your landlord does not respond within 14 days, then you need to contact us by telephone or email and we will take the matter up on your behalf. Alternatively, you can report it to us online.

We will arrange to inspect the problems and ask your landlord to be there too. We will then decide what needs to be done and arrange with the landlord an acceptable timescale for works to be completed. We can then serve what is called an Improvement Notice to ensure action is taken. We can follow this up if the landlord fails to act by taking them to Court or arranging to do the works they have failed to do, and getting the money back.

Normally most landlords will do the works when requested; however, sometimes they may not be very happy that you complained. If your tenancy began after October 2015 your landlord cannot evict you just because you complained to us. This protection from eviction lasts for 6 months from when we became involved. Your landlord can still evict you for matters such as not paying your rent.

If the landlord does not work with the Council to achieve improvements the Council can take further action This may be to collect evidence to prosecute them, do the works they have failed to do and recharge and/or issue a civil penalty notice.

If you have any questions, or if your landlord has not responded to a written request for repairs, please contact us by email or by telephone.