All homes should provide a safe and healthy environment for any occupants or visitors. We have a statutory responsibility to ensure that minimum property standards are maintained, and to intervene where these standards aren't met. These standards are set out in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
If you are a tenant, your landlord or agent must:
- Keep your home safe and free from health hazards
- Make sure all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained
- Provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
- Protect your deposit in a government-approved scheme
- Check you have the right to rent your property if it's in England
- Give you a copy of the How to rent checklist when you start renting from them (they can email it to you)
- Be a member of an approved redress scheme if they manage properties for other people
- Fit and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
If the property you are renting is in an unsatisfactory condition and it is affecting your health and safety or needs repair, then you should write to your landlord or letting agent in the first instance. A sample letter is available to download for you to raise concerns with your landlord. Where there is not a prompt satisfactory outcome, please contact us for help.
When we inspect homes, we carry out a risk based assessment and consider the effect of any 'hazards' in the property. Some hazards are gradual in their effect, like dampness and cold, whilst others are quick, such as falls on stairs or burns. Some hazards are more likely to result in a serious outcome e.g. carbon monoxide poisoning or falling from a high window, whilst others are very unlikely to have such harmful consequences e.g. noise nuisance or poor layout of a bathroom.
No home is "risk free" and all have potential hazards e.g. stairs, electrical outlets etc. It is not possible or desirable to remove all hazards. The goal is to minimise the risk to health and safety either by removing the hazard altogether or minimising its effect.
In our inspections we will look at:
- Damp and mould growth
- Excess cold issues
- Protection from carbon monoxide
- Crowding and space
- Entry by intruders
- Domestic hygiene & pests
- Food safety
- Personal hygiene facilities, drainage, sanitation
- Water supply
- Falls, slips, trips
- Electrical hazards
- Fire safety
- Hot surfaces/risk of burns
- Collision and entrapment
- Structural collapse
- Any other issue affecting the health and safety of occupants and visitors
Advice and support for landlords
We are committed to working with landlords in co-operation to raise property standards and protect residents. The Housing Standards Team encourages landlords to contact us for free advice, guidance and support in complying with legislation and resolving disputes with tenants. We will offer advice and support for a range of topics including:
- Provision of amenities
- Fire detection
- Dealing with anti-social behaviour
- Questions about legislation and good practice
- Managing houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
- Energy efficiency
- Legionella compliance
- Any other queries to ensure confidence and responsibilities of being a landlord
You can get in touch by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will get back to you within five working days.