Due to the Covid-19 emergency and in line with Government guidance, the private sector housing service is working to a revised Enforcement Policy that can be accessed here. Only in cases of emergency will inspection visits be carried out, as described in the policy. The arrangements for renewing HMO licences are also amended to make to process easier to complete at this challenging time. These changes are also explained in the revised policy document.

In the first instance, we advise that you should tell your landlord about any problem with your property so that he/she has the opportunity to put things right. If possible, put your complaint in writing – this could be an e-mail or text message – and keep a copy.

One of the most common housing complaints is dampness and mould growth. Although this can be the result of a structural problem, it is often caused by condensation. If your problem is mainly about mould growth and associated dampness, this leaflet may help you deal with the problem yourself.

If it is not possible to sort out your housing complaint yourself, you can use this link to report it to the Council.

What happens after I make my complaint to the Council?

One of the housing officers will contact you and ask you for more information that will help with the investigation of your complaint including:

  • Information about your tenancy – if possible, please have a copy of your tenancy agreement available.
  • Details about your household – number of adults and the number and ages of any children
  • Information about your accommodation – type of property, rooms/bedrooms/amenities
  • Details of any previous complaints
  • Further information about your complaint – details of the defect/problem(s), approximately when it started and any action you have already taken

The housing officer will explain what will happen next. If this includes an inspection of the property, this will involve:

Agreeing an appointment date and time that is convenient for you for the inspection to take place.

Letting you know that the landlord and/or letting agent will be notified of the complaint and inviting them to attend the inspection visit. This will help to get your complaint resolved quickly as the landlord/agent will have seen the problem(s) first hand

Confirming the inspection appointment in writing to you and your landlord/letting agent.

What does the property inspection involve?

The housing officer will ask to see all the rooms in the property and any outside space that is part of your tenancy. This will ensure that any potential hazards are identified in addition to those that you have mentioned.

Photographs may be taken as part of the inspection. In some instances, measurements of room sizes etc may be required

The housing officer may ask to see your tenancy agreement and any other paperwork such as the current Gas Safety certificate for the gas appliances in the property (if any).

Decisions about enforcement action will take into account the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy.

Enforcement action will be decided on a case by case basis and may start with an informal approach and an agreed deadline for the completion of the works required. Tenants will receive copies of any letters or notices issued to their landlord/letting agent. The letter/notice will include:

  • Details of the defects identified at the property
  • Identify the hazard to which these defects contribute
  • Specify the work required to remedy the defects
  • Indicate the timescale for completion of the work

In some cases, and in accordance with the Enforcement Policy, prohibiting the use of the dwelling may be the most appropriate course of action.