If a local authority discovers a category 1 hazard in a dwelling, it has a duty to take action to resolve the problem. It also has powers to deal with category 2 hazards.
We may try to deal with the problem informally at first. If this is unsuccessful we may require the owner to carry out improvements to the property or prohibit the use of the whole dwelling or part of the dwelling. We also have powers to act in an emergency.
The full list of enforcement powers available to us are as follows:
- Improvement Notice - requires works to reduce the risk from a hazard to a minimum
- Prohibition Order - prohibits the use of part or all of the dwelling by specified numbers or types of occupiers
- Hazard Awareness Notice - draws the attention of the owner to a hazard but does not require any action
- Suspended Improvement Notice - requires works to reduce the risk from a hazard but only after a specified time or event e.g. vacation by the current occupiers
- Suspended Prohibition Order - prohibits the use of part or all of the dwelling but only after a specified time or event
- Emergency Remedial Action - the Council takes immediate action to remove an imminent risk of serious harm
- Emergency Prohibition Order - prevents occupation of part or all of the dwelling with immediate effect
- Demolition Order - requires demolition of the property where this is the most satisfactory course of action
- Clearance Area - requires that an area is cleared of all buildings where this is the most satisfactory course of action. There is a very detailed procedure to go through which includes consulting those people who will be affected by the decision.
Failure to comply with a statutory notice could lead to a fine of up to £5,000.