The Environmental Protection and Housing Enforcement team are responsible for providing the Council’s services in the areas of:
- Hazards in private domestic property;
- Disrepair to private sector housing;
- Statutory nuisances and situations prejudicial to health at domestic properties;
- Control of houses in multiple occupation;
- Control of camping and caravan sites;
- Illegal eviction and harassment;
- Empty properties;
- Public health issues such as drainage problems and accumulations of refuse.
The Council has a number of legal duties in respect of these services, which are fulfilled by the team’s investigation, inspection and monitoring activities.
The reduction in the provision of council housing has increased interest in private house lettings, some of it at the poorer end of the market. We are committed to helping to improve the living conditions for tenants in private sector housing and Housing Associations by ensuring that properties are safe, secure and in a good state of repair.
Wherever possible, we work with the owners of such properties to advise and inform them of action that can be undertaken to ensure that suitable accommodation standards are achieved and maintained. However, where co-operation is not achieved, and the property remains in an 'unsafe' or 'hazardous' condition, we will take formal action against the owner.
All dwellings should provide a safe and healthy environment for current and future occupants. This relates to the condition and general repair of the structure, associated outbuildings, gardens, yard and/ or other amenity space and means of access.
When is a property "safe for human habitation"?
The Housing Act 2004 introduced the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) for assessing health and safety hazards in the home.
This is a new risk assessment tool used to assess potential risks to health and safety of occupants in residential properties.
Why is the Housing Health and Safety Rating System needed?
The HHSRS applies to all residential properties, and provides a system capable of assessing the severity of identified hazards, and the likelihood of a harmful outcome. The new assessment method focuses on the hazards that are most likely to be present in housing. Tackling these hazards will make more homes healthier and safer to live in. The assessments are carried out by an Environmental Health Officer who is trained in HHSRS assessment and who will decide if an intervention is required.
What are the hazards?
The HHSRS assesses a dwelling against one of 29 housing hazards, and the effects each hazard may have on the occupiers of the property. These hazards are divided into 4 main groups:
carbon monoxide and radon.
Includes thermal conditions: damp and mould, excess cold and excess heat, and pollutants such as asbestos,
Includes space, overcrowding, security, access by intruders, lighting and noise.
Includes hygiene, sanitation, and water supply e.g. domestic hygiene pests and refuse, personal hygiene sanitation and drainage, food safety, water supply for domestic purposes.
Includes falls on and between the levels and on the stairs, electrical hazards, fires, burns, scalding, collisions, cuts and strains.
If you require any further information or advice about the condition of your property, please contact us.
If you are a private tenant and concerned about the standard of the property in which you live in, you should first contact your landlord or letting agent. If your concerns are not addressed, please do not hesitate to contact us.