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Private housing

A range of support and advice is available regarding private housing, for both landlords and tenants. We can ensure that housing standards are met, provide grants for disability adaptations, and help landlords meet their obligations.

On this page:

Private housing standards

We have a responsibility to ensure that all housing in the New Forest is suitable for people to live in.

If you rent your home and there is disrepair or other problems, you should first discuss any issues with your landlord.

You should allow a reasonable amount of time for them to work on the problems.

As well as discussing the matter with your landlord, you should confirm the details of the problem in writing.

If your landlord will not help or is taking too long to help, you can email our private sector housing team at or call 023 8028 5151.

We will help determine what action, if any, it is appropriate for us to take or how we can assist you to get the issue resolved.

Damp and mould 

On the 7  Sept 2023, the government produced new guidance on damp and mould. 

The guidance applies to all types of accommodation providers, owner-occupiers and tenants. It sets out the health effects of damp and mould and provides guidance as to how it should be identified and addressed by those responsible. 

It makes sure that social and private sector landlords have a thorough understanding of their legal responsibilities, and of the serious health risks that damp and mould pose. 

The new government guidance provides advice for landlords and tenants alike: Understanding and addressing the health risks of damp and mould in the home - GOV.UK (  

Action Plan for Damp and Mould 

The Secretary of State, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, has asked all local authorities to set out a plan on how they will prioritise addressing the issues of damp and mould for private rented properties in their areas, and that these plans be published.

Download our Damp and Mould Action Plan (PDF) [66KB]

Empty homes

Our aim is to bring long-term empty homes back into use and improve the standard of housing in our communities. If you need advice or notice an empty home, you can email or call 023 8028 5151.

We offer advice to help owners ensure that homes are in a standard suitable for people to live in. We always try to enable the return of properties to a decent standard using informal action. Where necessary, we may have to enforce owners to bring a property back into use.

Empty Homes Strategy (PDF) [4MB]

Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

The government is providing grants to encourage property owners to install low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). These grants can help property owners overcome the upfront cost of low carbon heating technologies.

The scheme is open to domestic and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales. It runs from 2022 to 2025.

You can get:

  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump

  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler

  • £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump

    Boiler Upgrade Scheme - GOV.UK (

Grants for disability adaptations

Grants to fund adaptations for people with a disability are available to owner-occupiers, tenants or landlords. The purpose is to assist with the costs of making a home suitable to meet the needs of a disabled person.

To apply for a grant, email or call 023 8028 5151.

You will need to complete a financial assessment form to confirm whether you are eligible for support. If you are, the types of funding available include:

  • Disabled Facilities Grant
  • Disabled Facilities Top Up Grant
  • Disabled Facilities Top Up Loan
  • Palliative Care and Hospital Discharge Grant
  • Minor Disabled Adaptation Grant
  • Home Repair Loans.

The nature of the grant and the value will vary based on the works required and eligibility. We will advise on what is right for you.

Grant aid will not be available if work has been completed before a grant is approved. You should not start any work until you have received confirmation of an approved grant.

Disabled Facilities Grant Financial Assistance Policy (PDF) [319KB]

Support for private landlords

As a private landlord, you have certain obligations. You must:

  • keep properties safe and free from hazards
  • make sure gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained
  • provide an Energy Performance Certificate
  • protect your tenant's deposit in a government-approved scheme
  • check your tenant has the right to rent your property
  • give your tenant a copy of the 'How to rent' checklist when they start renting.

We can give advice on this and help you meet your obligations. You can email or call 023 8028 5151.

Houses in multiple occupation

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a building, or part of a building (such as a flat), which is rented out to 3 or more people who form 2 or more households.  Where more than one household shares an amenity (or the building lacks an amenity) such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities.

Licensable HMOs

From 1 October 2018, the mandatory licensable HMO definition has been varied to 5 or more unrelated persons who form 2 or more households.  This new definition removes the 3 or more storeys element which was previously in place.  A landlord of such a property must make an application to us.

You are a household if you are:

  • a single person
  • members of the same family living together
  • married/co-habiting couples
  • blood related or foster families
  • carers and domestic staff.

Minimum room sizes

Minimum room sizes for all licensed HMO's are:

  • 4.64m2 for 1 person under the age of 10 years old
  • 6.52m2 for 1 person over the age of 10 years old
  • 10.23 m2 for 2 persons over the age of 10 years old.

Licence fee

Currently the licence fee is £976 and is paid in 2 instalments as below:

  • Instalment 1:  £317.00.  Paid upon HMO application
  • Instalment 2:  £659.00.  Paid after the consultation period of the Draft Licence and prior to issuing the full licence.

The fee includes the council's costs for managing the HMO scheme.  You will only be granted a licence when all HMO criteria, including safety measures and the maintenance of facilities/equipment, are to a satisfactory standard.  Licences are payable by BACS or cheque to New Forest District Council.

Our Housing Standards Team work together with landlords, assisting and advising to ensure current HMO standards are met.

How to apply for a licence

You will need to complete an application form to register a licensable HMO.  You must do this for each licensable HMO you have.

If you own or manage a licensable HMO in the New Forest district, you can apply for a licence below or contact the Private Sector Housing Team on the details below who will send you a copy of the application form, for you to complete.

HMO Application Form (PDF) [166KB]

Operating a licensable HMO without a licence is a criminal offence which can result in prosecution or a civil penalty.

If you would like to discuss whether your property is an HMO, email: or call 023 8028 5151.

Private Sector Housing Strategy 2020 to 2024

We have completely reviewed and updated our private sector housing strategy to improve access to safe and healthy homes and enable safe independent living.

Our current strategy covers the period 2020 to 2024.

Download the Private sector Housing Strategy 2020 to 2024 (PDF) [5MB]

Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy

This policy sets out our approach to enforcing standards in the private sector housing sector.

Private Sector Housing Enforcement policy (PDF) [367KB]

Private sector leasing

We are looking for properties to lease from private owners. We can offer:

  • a guaranteed monthly rental income
  • free housing management services (excluding repairs)
  • no tenancy-related legal costs
  • no hidden fees
  • no fee to join the scheme
  • a hassle-free management service with a guaranteed rent.

Alternatively, we can work in partnership with you; linking you up with tenants who we are currently working with to prevent their homelessness. This could be because another landlord is selling their property or they have had to move area. We offer full support and can ensure that Universal Credit or Standing Orders are set up for your rent payments. We are then just a call away should your tenant need support in the future.

For further information, download the Private Sector Leasing brochure below.

Private Sector Leasing (PDF) [500KB] (opens new window)

To partner with us on this scheme, please email


Warmer Homes funding

Find out about Warmer Homes scheme for owner occupiers and private rental tenants.

Landlord and Letting Agent Assistance

If you are a landlord or letting agent and you are considering giving notice to your tenants, please contact 'Call Before You Serve'

Stillwater Mobile Home Park

A council-owned mobile home park in Poulner near Ringwood.

Landlord forums

Information about our landlord forum events.

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