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Housing Standards and Poor Housing Conditions

Please note: With effect from the 10th October 2016, Bournemouth Borough Council will be managing this service on behalf of the Borough of Poole.

Housing Standards - General

Everyone in Poole deserves to live in decent, safe accommodation.

All landlords have certain obligations to ensure your property is kept in reasonable repair, is in a safe condition and complies to the relevant housing legislation.  This legislation differs depending on how the property is occupied and for Houses in Multiple Occupation is more prescriptive than those properties occupied by single families.

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Single Dwellings - Houses occupied by a single family

The landlord is responsible for ensuring kitchens and bathrooms are maintained in full working order. The property should be suitably heated and all door and windows should be weatherproof and in working order.

The outside of the property should also be maintained, gutters should not leak and the building itself should not be in disrepair.

Smoke detectors, ideally mains linked, should be fitted but a 10 year sealed battery detector will suffice. A Carbon Monoxide alarm is not essential but should be provided as good practice.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, state a landlord must, by law, provide tenants with an annual gas safety certificate (CP12).  All gas engineers must be registered on the Gas Safe Register. They will carry an identity card that you can ask to see.  If you are unsure about an engineer, you can check their registration online on the Gas Safe website. For more information on gas safety advice and to report a property with no gas safety certificate, visit the HSE website.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) should also be supplied to you at the beginning of your tenancy. For more information on EPCs see the (EPC's) and Renting Homes - a Landlords Guide

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Houses in Multiple Occupation

In addition to the requirements for single dwellings, HMO landlords are required to provide safety certificates for the electrical installation, fire alarm system and any emergency lights and fire extinguishers there may be in the property. 

All kitchens and bathrooms should be fully fitted and be sufficient for the number of people sharing them. There is a guide for the ideal standards in HMO's but please note it is a guide to the ideal only and not all HMO's will match the criteria within it.

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Licensable Houses in Multiple Occupation

 The standards for licensable HMO's are more prescriptive than for non licensable ones.  The requirements are dictated by Statutory Instruments (SI's) laid before Parliament.  The SIs that govern licensable HMOs are The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) 2006 and The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007.

Individual local authorities are able to be slightly flexible with the required standards but this would depend on the size, age, layout and the way each individual property is occupied.

A guide for standards in licensable HMO's is also available.

More information about licensing or applying for a licence

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Poor Housing Conditions and Complaints Procedure

If you live in a private rented or Housing Association property and it is in disrepair and you are struggling with your landlord or letting agent to get the repairs carried out, we may be able to help you.  Tenants in Poole Housing Partnership properties will need to report their repairs direct to Poole Housing Partnership.

Where possible, or where it is required, verification checks will be made. We would then write to your landlord or letting agent informing them we have received a complaint about their property and raise the issues with them.  We would give them 14 days to reply to our letter and to provide details of what works they are intending to carry out.  If we do not receive a response or it is felt the response will not satisfactorily address the complaint, an inspection and assessment in accordance with Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, Housing Health and Safety Rating Systems (HHSRS), will be carried out.

The outcome of this assessment will then determine whether further action against the landlord is appropriate.  The landlord will be informed of their repair obligations and if they still fail to carry out works, a statutory notice may be served.

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How to Make a Complaint

We advise that you put your disrepair issues in writing to your landlord or letting agent. Allow a minimum of 14 days. If you don't receive a response or the response is unsatisfactory you can make a complaint to the Council.

When you have written to your landlord or letting agent, make sure you keep a copy of the letter. This could ensure you're protected at a later date should your landlord retaliate by serving you with a notice when the repairs are significant enough to warrant enforcement action. This is detailed in the Deregulation Act 2015 and is active from 1st October 2015. 

Complaints can be made to the Private Sector Housing Team by completing the Property Disrepair Complaints Form and returning it to us at Housing and Community Services, Civic Centre, Poole.  BH15 2RU.

Alternatively you can contact us by email or by telephone on 01202 451083.

Please note that before we are able to take and process your complaint, we need a full name and address of either your landlord or your letting agent.

Please see our guidance for Borough of Poole Residents on property disrepair complaints.

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