Advice for private landlords and agents

Private Sector Housing Conditions

Tenants have rights. In the case of tenants of private landlords and housing associations some laws are enforced by us including:

  • when a landlord fails to carry out repairs or where the home is cold and damp or lacks proper facilities (such as bathroom facilities) or is overcrowded, we can require him to do the necessary works and if he still doesn't do them, we can do the works at the landlord's expense and/or prosecute him; (see Housing Health and Safety Rating System
  • if a landlord harasses a tenant or tries to evict him or her without getting a court order, we can prosecute him; (see Private tenant protection)
  • Houses used as bedsits, hostels etc. which are shared by people who do not form a single household are subject to special requirements including numbers of toilets, bathrooms and kitchens as well as fire precautions (see HMOs below);
  • Our Housing Options Manager (Advice) can also provide advice on tenancy rights. Tel: 01483 523452.

Services to owners

Our Environmental Health Officers carry out inspections of properties to assess whether they are suitable for occupation.

We are always willing to provide advice to property owners on disrepair, amenities, energy conservation etc.

The main service we offer to property owners is the provision of improvement grants. The following types of improvement grants are currently available:

  • Disabled Facilities Grant: These grants are available to owners and tenants of private landlords and housing associations to provide adaptations for the benefit of anybody who has a disability or chronic illness. The eligible works include ramps, bathroom adaptations and stairlifts
  • Safe and Warm Grant: These discretionary grants are available to owners and tenants of private landlords to provide small but essential works to improve energy efficiency or safety in your home if you meet the eligibility criteria.

We may also be able to assist homeowners to carry out repairs and improvements by providing access to an equity release loan.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) 

We inspect houses in multiple occupation to make sure they:

  • are in a satisfactory state of repair
  • are free from serious hazards
  • have a satisfactory means of escape from fire
  • have adequate provision of amenities
  • are not overcrowded.

If conditions in the properties inspected are not up to standard, the landlord or owner is required to improve them.

The person responsible for managing a house in multiple occupation must observe proper standards of management. If he fails to do so, we can take enforcement action. See HMOs - management.

Some higher risk HMOs must be licensed by the Council.

Immigration inspections

People moving into the Waverley Borough to live from a country outside the EU have to confirm that they are moving into accommodation of a suitable standard that will not be made overcrowded by their arrival.

A named individual normally has to sponsor the person moving into the area and this individual (or sponsor) is asked by the immigration authority for proof that the property being moved into is suitable. The sponsor can ask a local authority or a private surveyor to provide a suitable report.

If you want to use Waverley Borough Council to provide such a report, the current fee chargeable for this service is £170 (including VAT).

Page owner: Paula Mackenzie. Last updated: 02/07/2020 08:22

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