Housing Standards

Complaints about housing conditions

If you privately rent and are struggling with your landlord, we may be able to help. 

We can investigate hazards within the home by using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) as set out by the Housing Act 2004. We have legal powers to secure improvements.

Look at our checklist to assist you in identifying any hazards within our home and the severity of these hazards. 

Where significant and serious hazards are found (known as Category 1 hazards), the Council has a duty to take action.

Your landlord may need to provide additional escape and fire protection if you live in:

  • shared accommodation
  • a bedsit
  • a self-contained flat
  • hostel or lodging 

Before making a complaint to us

If you believe there is a hazard within your home, you should contact your landlord to try and resolve the issue.  If you rent through a letting agent, this is usually who you should contact first. 

It is advisable you do this in writing.  To help you in constructing a letter to your landlord:

This can be sent by post or an email attachment.  It is good practice to keep a record. 

Your landlord or agent must carry out repairs within a reasonable time if you tell them about the problem.  For example, if you report an emergency repair such as a broken boiler, it could be reasonable for your landlord to carry out repairs within 24 hours.  If the disrepair is not an emergency, allow 28 days.  

How to raise an issue for us to investigate 

If these informal negotiations have failed to resolve the issues, then contact the council and make a formal complaint about the condition of the property - using the form below. 

We have a legal duty to serve a Notice of Intended Entry on the owner(s) of any property that we wish to inspect.  This notifies them of the reason for the inspection and the potential enforcement action. The Landlord is entitled to be present during an inspection.

We cannot carry out home visits to assess your current living conditions, without first making your Landlord aware of the nature of the complaints made. We do not investigate any anonymous complaints.

Make a complaint

Enforcement Policy 

Private sector housing contributes toward housing need in the district. The Council has a duty to ensure reasonable standards are provided to residents living in private housing, particularly in the rented sector which makes up around 17% of the housing stock in the districts. 
We offer a service to residents requiring help and those in need. 
This includes:
•    informal advice, 
•    signposting, 
•    grants
•    responding to service requests

We work with landlords to ensure that safe and healthy homes are provided for tenants. Sometimes, where an informal approach fails or where dangerous and unsafe conditions are encountered, we must use enforcement powers to improve conditions.

A private housing enforcement policy has been introduced to complement the over-arching corporate enforcement policy and to use civil penalty powers. We can include changes in the law to use effective and targeted enforcement. 

The policy sets out our approaches depending on different circumstances. It sets out how the Council secures compliance with the law relating to privately rented homes, houses in multiple occupation and empty homes. 

Our civil penalty powers will be used to regulate housing standards including electrical safety, smoke and carbon monoxide requirements and minimum energy efficiency standards.

Read Private Sector Housing Enforcement & Civil Penalties Policy