Housing standard - what can you expect?
If you live in rented accommodation you should expect your home to be in good repair, warm, secure and free from health and safety hazards and there are laws available to ensure these standards are met.
It is important that landlords who provide rented accommodation ensure their homes meet the legal minimum required. However it is important that you contact your landlord to let them know you have a problem and to allow him/her time to fix any faults. Therefore we would ask you to:
- contact your landlord, in writing to let him know you are unhappy and have repairs that need doing.
- give you landlord a reasonable amount of time to do any works that are needed
If the landlord does not complete the works or you do not think he/she has repaired the faults properly then you can contact us and explain why you feel there are still problems in you house (contact details provided below)
What minimum standards should you expect?
Generally the minimum standard for any room, flat or house that is offered for let is:
- that it is provided in good repair and in a clean condition
- that it has sufficient space for the number of occupants
- that it has sufficient clean furniture and fixtures/fittings as described for the letting (if let as part/fully furnished)
- that it is free from hazards that may harm the health, safety or well-being of any person
- that there is sufficient shared facilities for the occupants who use them
- the tenant is provided with a written contract/tenancy agreement
- the tenant is provided with a pre-tenancy inventory so they know exactly what is provided (for deposit return purposes)
- there is a current Gas Safety Certificate
- there is a smoke alarm on each floor
- there is a carbon monoxide detector if the house has a wood/coal burner or fire
- that the property is well managed
How do we enforce standards
When we receive a complaint from you we will call you and discuss the problems you are having. If it is appropriate then one of our housing officers will arrange a date and time to visit you at your home so that they can conduct a whole house investigation.
Our housing officers are fully trained and authorized in inspecting houses and after their inspection they will normally,
- write informally to your landlord and
- provide 42 days for him/her to conduct all repairs that are needed
If after 42 days the majority of the works remain outstanding or your landlord refuses to do the works then we will consider taking formal enforcement action against him/her - this is when we serve legal notices which include,
- Hazard Awareness Notices
- Improvement Notices
- Emergency Remedial Action
- Prohibition Orders
- Demolition Notices
In order to ensure our procedures are fair and followed correctly the Council has produced an Enforcement Policy. The policy sets out how we must conduct our inspections and what considerations we must have when we take informal or formal action.
The Regulators Code
works in partnership with the councils Enforcement policy. The main aim of the Regulatory Code is to develop an open and constructive relationship between the regulator and those we have responsibility to regulate.
The Code requires the council as regulators to provide clear details relating to information, guidance and advice. Procedures are therefore available in relation to the conduct of regulatory officers involved with risk assessments or inspections and how they will respond to non-compliance issues.
Any fees or charges that may be necessary are also clearly defined as are our appeals, comments and complaints procedure.
If you would like any more details on the issues stated above you can contact us by,
Telephone: 01744 676789
Write to: Private Housing Initiatives, St Helens Council,Town Hall,
Victoria Square, St Helens, WA10 1HP