Housing Standards

Housing Enforcement, Property Standards and Disrepair

The Private Sector Housing team works closely with owners, leaseholders, landlords and tenants to improve housing conditions for people within Malvern. 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 565631 or email privatesectorhousing@wychavon.gov.uk.

If you are a tenant from a Social Landlord you must in the first instance contact your housing officer or the repairs team to report the problem and work with your housing association before contacting the private sector housing team.

If appropriate, the Property Standards Officer will visit your property after notifying your landlord of your complaint. 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 severe and the council has a duty to get remedied. A Category 2 Hazard is less severe and the council has a power to remedy. This will determine the next step for the complaint.

Enforcement


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.

Landlord and tenant advice

  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • 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
  • Building Control 01684 862223
  • Homestamp - a range of useful information concerning private renting, from advice and guidance for tenants to technical guides for landlords

Landlord Accreditation Scheme

We do not run our 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
Visit Landlords.org to apply through Malvern.
 
Enquiries
For more information please contact our Property Standards Officer:
Telephone 01386 565631 - between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Email privatesectorhousing@wychavon.gov.uk.