Private rented accommodation

Reporting a problem with a rental property

Landlords must ensure that their rented properties meet set standards to make them habitable - find out more about the housing health and safety ratings system.

We do not inspect all rental properties, but we will inspect properties if you notify us there is a problem, for example:

  • dampness, condensation, and mould growth
  • rats, cockroaches and other vermin infestations
  • broken glass, falling plaster, or dangerous or decaying stairs
  • faulty or dangerous gas or electrical installations
  • blocked drains or problems with rubbish or sewage
  • unacceptable noise levels
  • damaged asbestos
  • smoke fumes or gases

If you live in a shared home (house in multiple occupation), there are also limits on the number of people who can live in the property. The number of people allowed to live there depends on the number and location of cooking, washing and toilet facilities. The property must also meet fire safety standards.

If we spot any hazards, we have a duty to take action. We try to deal with problems informally at first by talking to the landlord, however, we can take enforcement action will be taken if necessary.

If you live in a rented property and are worried about health and safety, we would encourage you report any problems to your landlord in writing, and allow a reasonable time for them to be fixed. The time needed will depend on the urgency of the problem.

If your landlord does nothing, you could send a second letter, warning that you will contact the environmental health department if the repairs are not done by a certain deadline.

If your landlord fails to address your concerns, and you would like your home needs to be assessed, please call 01543 308725 or email [email protected]

If you report the situation, a member of our environmental health team will contact you to inspect your home. If we decide your home includes a serious hazard, they may:

  • issuing a hazard awareness notice – this warns the landlord that the council is aware of the problem
  • giving your landlord an improvement notice, ordering the landlord to carry out certain repairs or improvements by a certain time
  • ordering the closure of all or part of a building or restricting the number of people who live in the property
  • taking emergency action to do the repairs themselves and reclaim the costs from the landlord
  • making an order to demolish the property
  • buying the property from the landlord under the compulsory purchase rules

If we identify only minor repair issues, we may not take action, but we can choose to enforce improvements, to avoid future problems.