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Information and advice for tenants

Online ContactEmail: Private Sector HousingTel: 023 8028 5151

Advice for Private Sector Tenants


Dealing with problems with your rented home

No matter how well your landlord looks after the property, from time to time problems may arise.

What should I do first?

  • You should firstly report any disrepair or other problems to your landlord as soon as possible.

  • Explain the situation to your landlord

  • Politely ask your landlord to explain what will happen next.

  • Allow a reasonable amount of time for the landlord to address the problems.  Unless urgent, we would expect the landlord to respond within a week with a date to visit and assess the problems either directly or for a contractor.

  • You should also contact your landlord in writing setting out the details of the complaint.

What should I do if the landlord refuses to deal with the problem?

If the landlord refuses to deal with the problem that you have reported or if little or no progress is being made with dealing with that problem then you should contact the Council's Private Sector Housing Team on 023 80285151.

The Private Sector Housing Team will provide advice about how to deal with the problem. Having been given the advice you will be able to decide how to proceed.

  • Do you want to have further discussions with your landlord prior to involving the Private Sector Housing Team?

  • Do you want us to visit to assess the property using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)?

    Where a property is assessed as having a serious hazard (category 1) and the owner or landlord does not fix it, we have a legal duty to take action. In the case of a category 2 hazard, we can also take action if we think it's necessary. This will usually involve serving one or some of the following notices:

  • Improvement notice - this can be served for category 1 and 2 hazards.
  • Prohibition order (emergency) - this will close all or part of the property, or restrict the number of occupants (usually category 1 hazard).
  • Remedial action notice (emergency) - this will force the person responsible for the property to fix the hazard immediately (usually category 1 hazard).
  • Hazard awareness notice - this will tell the person responsible for the property of an existing hazard. Normally, no further action will be taken.
  • Demolition order - this is usually for a category 1 hazard, but is also available for category 2 hazards in some circumstances.
  • Clearance area - this is usually for a category 1 hazard, but is also available for category 2 hazards in some circumstances.

If the landlord fails to comply with the enforcement action taken by the Council, then the Council may have the right to consider prosecuting the landlord and/or carrying out the works in default and recovering the costs incurred from the landlord.

Updated: 11 Sep 2019
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