Housing standards and poor housing conditions

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General housing standards

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.

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 www.gassaferegister.co.uk. For more information visit the HSE website for gas safety advice and to report a property with no gas safety certificate.

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.

Houses in multiple occupation

Bournemouth Borough Council manage this service on our behalf. You can read about houses in multiple occupation on Bournemouth.gov.uk.

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.

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 by completing the Property Disrepair Complaints Formand returning it to us at Private Sector Housing , Castlepoint Office, Castlepoint Library, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, BH8 9UP. Or email the completed form to  privatesector.housing@bcpcouncil.gov.uk. If you need to speak to someone telephone  01202 127 900.

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 on property disrepair complaints.

Please note this service has a privacy notice.

Page last updated: 03 March 2021
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