The Housing Act 2004 gives local authorities the power to enforce housing standards across the borough. Landlords must ensure that their rented properties meet this standard which is described in the Housing Acts and Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Failure to comply with the act may lead to criminal prosecution.
My property is in disrepair what can I do?
If your property belongs to a housing association please read the below section. If your property belongs to a private landlord and you have asked your landlord in writing to repair or replace the item and the landlord has failed to act you can contact the private sector housing team to discuss the nature of the problem. The council can only act in cases where serious harm is likely. If the problem falls under the jurisdiction of the Housing Acts the housing officer will inspect the property to assess the condition under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
What if my house belongs to a housing association?
Please note that Hertsmere Borough Council cannot assist with complaints about disrepair unless you have completed certain actions.
You should first contact your housing association and arrange repair, most housing associations are very good and will repair problems quickly. If you are dissatisfied with their actions you must go through your association’s formal complaints procedure and if necessary have advanced your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.
If you are still dissatisfied after that the Council may intervene.
What can the council do?
If the housing officer is satisfied that the property does not meet the conditions laid out in the Housing Acts they will begin to resolve the issue with the person responsible for repairs. In most cases the disrepair issues can be resolved by informal contact such as a letter, email or telephone call to the landlord or agent. If however, the informal approach fails, then the council may serve a notice which requires work to be carried out within a set timescale. The notice will be in line with Hertsmere’s Housing Enforcement Policy. A copy of the policy can be sent to you by email on request.
Failure to comply with the terms of a notice is a criminal offence and the council may prosecute.
Should the housing officer issue a notice there is an automatic £350 administrative charge applied for each notice served.
Civil penalties of up to £30,000 can be applied where landlords fail to comply with notices.
Will the council re-house me whilst the repairs are being carried out?
No, the council will always seek to have repairs carried out so that the occupiers can continue to live in the property.
What should I do now?
If you feel that your home is in disrepair and could cause serious harm as laid out in the Housing Act 2004 please contact the private sector team to discuss this further on 020 8207 2277