About Housing Standards

The Housing Standards Team is responsible for the assessment and improvement of private rented accommodation in our area.

Our objective is to make privately rented homes decent, safe and comfortable to live in.

The Housing Standards team deal with complaints from tenants regarding the poor condition of their rental accommodation, this could include issues with damp/mould, lack of heating, lack of fire detection or overcrowding.

They also deal with complaints regarding Blocks of Flats, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and HMO Licensing.

In certain circumstances the team also investigates poor housing conditions in owner/occupied properties.

Assessing a property

  • Our enforcement officers conduct a survey of the property to establish its condition.
  • If we find conditions that contribute to a significant hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System we will contact your landlord to require repairs in order to remove the hazards.
  • Once repairs are completed we will re-inspect the property to ensure the works are completed to a good standard. The hazards must be removed fully or reduced to a level whereby the hazard is no longer significant.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is the method of assessing potential risks to occupiers in private sector accommodation.

The HHSRS identifies 29 potential housing related hazards.

When assessing using the HHSRS we will first carry out a survey of the premises to collect evidence of its condition.

We will then decide:

  • The likelihood of harm to the occupiers.
  • The possible outcomes of such an occurrence, such as injury, long term ill health or threat to life.
  • How it will affect the most vulnerable people.

Each hazard will be considered and given a numerical score.

Hazard scores

Over 1000 points  - Category 1 Hazard

  • We have a duty to take action to remove or decrease the risk from the Hazard.

Under 1000 points - Category 2 Hazard

  • Less serious than category 1, however we still have the power to take any action deemed necessary.

Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System we have the following enforcement powers to deal with hazards in the home, these include:

Improvement Notice
This requires the person on whom it is served (usually the landlord) to carry out repairs within a certain period of time.

Hazard Awareness Notice
This advises the person on whom it is served that a  hazard exists at the property.

Prohibition Order
This prohibits the use of the property as living accommodation.

Emergency Actions
We have the power to undertake remedial works or place emergency prohibition orders if the hazard poses an imminent risk to the health of the occupier.

Where possible we will always try to work with the owner or landlord of a property to ensure that hazards are rectified as speedily as possible without the need for formal enforcement action.

Gas safety

If you have Gas appliances in your property, the landlord must have them serviced and tested by a qualified person every 12 months and obtain a Certificate to prove that the appliances are safe to use. Further information regarding gas safety can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website by using the following link Health and Safety Executive - Domestic Gas Safety.

Freedom of Information Request FAQs

Housing Standards receive a number of FOIs each year. We have therefore decided to publish some of the most frequently asked questions so that this information is available easily and freely. A PDF document is available on the related documents section of this page containing this information. For further information or to find out how to make a request please go to the Freedom of Information page.

Privacy Statement

It may be necessary for Housing Standards to process personal data when undertaking our duties. Further information regarding the processing of this data is available on the Council's Privacy Statement page.