Under the Housing Act 2004, a Local Housing Authority (LHA) must keep the housing conditions in its area under review to identify any action that may need to be taken.
The Environmental Health and Licensing Team (EH & LT) aims to improve housing conditions in the private rented sector and bring properties up to standard. Where properties do not meet these standards the EH & LT has a duty under various legislations and regulations to ensure that the landlord, freeholder or managing agent of the property, carry out remedial works to bring the accommodation up to an acceptable standard. The type of enforcement action is considered on a case by case basis and will vary according to the law.
Advice for private tenants
The Council can provide advice regarding tenancy agreements, for example, whether or not a contract is valid if you are threatened with homelessness. However, the Council does not provide tenancy agreements unless a tenant or landlord is being assisted through the Council's Simple Lets scheme.
The Council can also advise on protecting and recovering your deposit. However, it can only provide advice and cannot recover your deposit for you - this will need to be done through the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). You can find more information on the DPS adjudication process here.
Other support and advice the Council can provide includes:
- disputes with your landlord
- property which is in disrepair
- finding other accommodation
- housing benefit
- if you have been asked or been given notice, to leave your home
- if you are suffering harassment
- if your landlord or agent threatens to evict you
You can find more sources of advice for private tenants at:
Housing Association tenants
If you are a registered social landlord (RSL) tenant you should raise your complaint with your landlord before contacting the Council. If this does not help, you should contact the Housing Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is able to resolve the majority of disputes but if you still need help after this, you can contact the Council. When you contact the Council you will need to provide a copy of your ombudsman complaint.