Private sector housing enforcement

We are responsible for making sure that housing in the area is safe and suitable to live in.

Most housing is risk assessed under the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS).

This covers:

  • dampness, and excess cold or heat
  • pollutants such as asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead
  • lack of space, security or lighting, or excessive noise
  • poor hygiene, sanitation, water supply
  • accidents, such as falls, electric shocks, fires, burns and scalds
  • collisions, explosions, or structural collapse.

Hazards are rated according to how serious they are. For the most serious hazards (category 1), the local authority has a duty to act.

We also have powers to deal with any category 2 hazards, if we decide it’s necessary.

Where possible, we will try to work with the person responsible for the building (the owner, landlord, managing agent etc) and encourage them to make the necessary improvements.

However, we may sometimes need to use our enforcement powers to deal with the issue.

Private sector housing enforcement notices

  • Improvement notice - this can be served for category 1 and 2 hazards.
  • Prohibition order (emergency) - this will close all or part of the property, or restrict the number of occupants (usually category 1 hazard).
  • Remedial action notice (emergency) - this will force the person responsible for the property to fix the hazard immediately (usually category 1 hazard).
  • Hazard awareness notice - this will tell the person responsible for the property of an existing hazard. Normally, no further action will be taken.
  • Demolition order - this is usually for a category 1 hazard, but is also available for category 2 hazards in some circumstances.
  • Clearance area - this is usually for a category 1 hazard, but is also available for category 2 hazards in some circumstances.