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Information and advice for landlords

Online ContactEmail: Housing ImprovementsTel: 023 8028 5151

On this part of the website, there is information and advice for landlords on tenancy issues, housing benefit, tenancy deposits and housing standards.

General Standards

It is normally the responsibility of the landlord to ensure all rented accommodation complies with the basic legal minimum standards and it meets all statutory health and safety requirements.

All local authorities use a government system to assess the condition of a dwelling called the 'Housing Health and Safety Rating System', and if any of the 29 identifiable hazards are considered a significant risk by this process then it must be addressed.

In general terms all accommodation must be free from dampness (Damp and Mould growth), have adequate lighting, heating and ventilation, have a suitable kitchen and bathroom and be free from disrepair that could be a health and safety risk. More information about this standard can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website

There are a number of other requirements that a landlord must also meet. A summary of which is as follows:

·The gas installation and appliances in rented accommodation must be checked on an annual basis and a 'Landlord Gas Safety Certificate' must be available as confirmation of this. This includes boilers, fires and cookers. See the Health and Safety Executive website for further information.

·All furniture provided by the landlord must comply with the provisions of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.Further information can be obtained from the Department of Trade and Industry website

·All electrical installations should be safe and ideally in compliance with BS7671:1992, with any works being undertaken by a competent contractor and where appropriate in compliance with Part P of the Building Regulations.

·Any electrical goods supplied by the landlord must also be safe and it is recommended that appliances are checked by a competent electrician between tenancies and to carry out regular checks.

Why we might visit rented accommodation

There are a number of reasons why the New Forest District Council, as a housing authority, may visit a property that a landlord has let to a private tenant. Normally we have been asked to visit because the condition of the property has been brought to our attention by a concerned person which maybe the tenant, a health care professional or a concerned relative or neighbour.

Although we have formal powers to use where a property is sub-standard our policy is to try to resolve most matters informally with the owner. We believe that local landlords provide a much needed housing service in the New Forest and as such we believe that a landlord should only be subject to formal action as a last resort.

Our Enforcement Policy and Enforcement Concordat follows the principles recommended by government which sets out what business and others being regulated can expect from enforcement officers, it commits us to use good enforcement policies and procedures and gives an idea of the timescale of any action we may take.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) can be anything from a house which is let to at least three people who share the facilities to a bedsit house where all the units are self contained.  Review the HMO Guide  to provide an explanation on HMO .

The way that an HMO is managed and maintained is covered by the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 which can be found on the website

HMOs of three or more storeys that are occupied by five or more persons are subject to mandatory licensing. From 1 October 2018 new legislation is in effect and landlords should read this adobe icon HMO legislation change notice [19kb]. More details can be found on the government website but you should make the Housing Improvements Team aware of your property straight away so that we can start the application process.  It is a criminal offence not to apply for a licence for a licensable property and a fine may be imposed.

Landlord Accreditation

As of 1st October 2014 all lettings agents and property managers are legally required to join one of three Government approved redress schemes which are:-

The purpose of the redress scheme is to ensure a consistent quality in the services provided.

Tenancy and Other Issues

Information on tenancies, deposits, housing benefit, and the Council's own private sector leasing scheme can be found by following the links below.

For further information you may wish to look at the following;

Updated: 21 Sep 2018
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