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Private sector housing standards and enforcement

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Private sector housing standards and enforcement

Improving housing conditions

We are working to improve housing conditions within the private rented sector and bring properties up to standard. We have a responsibility to deal with housing that may be dangerous for the occupiers in the property.

The type of enforcement action we decide is considered on a case by case basis and will vary according to the law. 

Find out more in our Private Sector Housing enforcement policy (PDF)

For information on how we enforce the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 please see here.

How private sector housing is assessed

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a method for assessing health and safety risks in residential properties. It replaces the fitness standard that was used under the Housing Act 1985.

Any residential premises, including its structure, access areas, yard, gardens and outbuildings can be assessed. 

The inspector will identify hazards that are likely to lead to harm while the property is in use. They will then assess the seriousness of harm that the hazard may cause. 

Actions we may take:

  • serve an improvement notice requiring essential repairs or improvements to reduce or remove the hazard
  • make a prohibition order, closing all or part of a building or restricting the number of occupiers to reduce or remove a hazard
  • take emergency action to deal with any imminent risk to the occupiers from a severe hazard
  • serve a Hazard Awareness notice that informs that a hazard is present

For more information on the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, read government guidance for landlords and property related professionals.

Report a hazard

If you are living in a privately rented home, you can report a hazard to our private sector housing team.