Housing Enforcement, Property Standards & Disrepair
The Private Sector Housing team works closely with owners, leaseholders, landlords and tenants to improve housing conditions for people within Wychavon. The Housing Act 2004 introduced new enforcement options, a National Licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation and have changed the methods of assessment of property standards to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
How to Make a Complaint
In the first instance tenants need to let their landlord know about the problem, in order to give him/her the chance to put it right. You should also take a note of the date and details of the complaint. If you do not receive a satisfactory response please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01386 565341 or email For further advice.
If you are a tenant from a Social Landlord you must in the first instance contact you housing officer or the repairs team to report the problem and work with your housing association thoroughly before contacting the private sector housing team.
If appropriate the Property Standards Officer will visit your property after notifying your landlord of your complaint. It may not always be practicable to notify the landlord, as there may be emergency situations that need to acted on immediately. During this visit the property will be inspected and assessed using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) (guide). The risk assessments are based on the likelihood of an occurrence causing harm and the probable severity of the outcomes of the occurrence. It relies on the informed professional judgements of both of these to provide a simple means of representing the severity of any dangers present in a dwelling.The hazards are rated and the severity is categorised as a Category 1 Hazard which is the most sever and the Council has a duty to get remedied and a Category 2 Hazard which is less sever and the Council has a power to remedy. This will determine the next step for the complaint
Where ever possible we try to improve the standards of the property by working with the landlord, owner or leaseholder. However in some circumstances it is necessary to take formal action. This includes:
• A Hazard Awareness Notice
• Improvement Notice
• Prohibition Notice
• Emergency Remedial Action
• Demolition Order
• Designate a Clearance Area
Please note that there will be a charge of £175.00 for serving formal enforcement notices.
Civil Penalty Notices
The power to impose a civil penalty as an alternative to prosecution was introduced by section 126 and Schedule 9 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 which came into force on 6th April 2017.
Local Authorities are expected to use the new powers as a means to deter `rogue landlords’. The offences under the Housing Act 2004 that civil penalties can be considered for are;
- Failure to comply with an improvement notice (Housing Act 2004 s30)
- Licensing of HMO’s under Housing Act 2004 Part 2 (Housing Act 2004 s72)
- Licensing of houses under Housing Act 2004 Part 3 (Housing Act 2004 s95)
- Failure to comply with overcrowding notice (Housing Act 2004 s139(7))
- Management regulations in respect of HMO’s (Housing Act 2004 s234)
- Breach of a banning order (section 21, Housing and Planning Act 2016)
As required by the legislation the authority are required to publicise their process and charging scales which will be used to calculate the level of the penalty fine as well as the appeal process.
Where a property fails to meet these standards we can step in, to improve living conditions. We can advise landlords and tenants on their responsibilities and try to resolve problems amicably, but where required we have powers to take appropriate enforcement action.
Typical complaints include:
- gas safety
- fire safety
- damp and condensation.
We can investigate issues arising from any home including privately rented; housing association and owner occupied property.
Landlord and Tenant Advice
- Citizens Advice Bureau:
- Wychavon Landlord Forum- Annual event held at the Civic Centre usually in September.
- Worcestershire Regulatory Services – For advice and complaints regarding odour, noise, bonfires and rodents.
- Client Services – For advice and complaints regarding refuse collections, bulky waste collections and wheelie bins please contact Client Services on 01386 565018
- Planning Department and Building Control - Complaints regarding planning issues and building regulations please contact Planning on 01386 565468, Building Control on 01684 862223
- Homestamp - Established well over a decade ago, this organisation is comprised of Local Authorities, the private rented sector, Universities, Police and Fire Services. The Homestamp website features a range of useful information concerning private renting, from advice and guidance for tenants to technical guides for landlords and useful links to for those requiring further advice and information. For more information on Homestamp visit the website at http://www.homestamp.com/. You can also follow us on twitter @homestamp.
Landlord Accreditation Scheme
Wychavon does not run its own Landlord Accreditation Scheme however we have joined forces with the National Landlord Association, who are offering you an opportunity to become as Associate of the NLA for FREE.
As an associate you will be entitled to:
- unlimited free downloads of tenancy agreements and a wide range of other essential forms and documents
- receive a fortnightly e-newsletter
- invitations to landlords meetings and more....
To apply through Wychavon click here
Further details of the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme (MLAS) can be found below:
National Landlords Association: http://www.landlords.org.uk/support-advice/landlord-accreditation
Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme: http://mlas.org.uk/
For more information please contact our Property Standards Officer: