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Private Rented Accommodation

Advice on if you're unhappy with the condition of your rented home, or about a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation).

Private Rented Accommodation
Complaining about the condition of your home

If you live in private rented accommodation and your house/flat is either in disrepair, is unsafe or lacking facilities, then you should firstly speak to your landlord. If you have complained to your landlord, and your issues haven't been resolved. then you should contact us.

Before the Council can take action, we will need to be sure that you have followed the correct procedure in reporting the complaint. We would expect that you have:

  • already reported your complaint to your landlord or agent
  • made your complaint in writing, and kept a copy
  • given a reasonable timescale for your landlord or agent to respond

We recommend that you read the terms of your Tenancy Agreement before making a complaint. This will say what the Landlord is responsible for repairing. They are usually responsible for structural repairs, facilities and services such as water. Your landlord should make sure your electrical installations are safe and working, and that all gas appliances are tested annually and certified by a competent person on the Gas Safe Register.

If you haven't done the above, then the Council will be unable to help you.

If the Council investigates a complaint, then they may inspect the property. If there are faults that the landlord is responsible for, we will speak to them. If necessary and depending on the severity of the fault, we will issue a statutory notice requiring the landlord to put the faults right. The property will be assessed in accordance with HHSRS (the Housing Health and Safety Rating System), which assesses the condition of the property and how it could affect the health and safety of the occupiers.

Make a complaint about the condition of your private rented home.

The Citizens Advice Bureau also offers advice about  common problems with renting.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) typically include converted buildings comprising bedsits, shared houses, hostels and houses occupied on a 'rooms to rent' basis. It is usually a cheaper form of accommodation for private renters, especially single people, students and migrant workers.

Some HMOs have poor housing conditions including overcrowding, too few facilities for the amount of people sharing, inadequate fire precautions and means of escape, as well as noise, rubbish and anti-social behaviour. The Council has a range of enforcement powers available to tackle poor conditions where needed, and can get involved if the issues are unable to be resolved informally first.

Certain HMOs must be licensed with the Council

The Government are proposing to extend mandatory licensing for HMO licensing. Under the new plans, the Government is intending on making the following changes during 2018:

  • Removing the storey rule. This means that all houses with 5 of more people forming 2 or more households will become mandatory licensable
  • Extending mandatory licensing to all flates above and below business premises
  • Setting a minimum room size in line with the Housing Act 1985 overcrowding standard
  • Making the 'fit and proper person' landlord test more rigourous. 

Find out more about the proposed HMO licensing changes.