Disrepair in private rented properties

Property disrepair

The Council's Housing Standards Team investigate poor housing conditions in certain privately rented properties in Trafford. The service provides informal advice, assistance and information to landlords and tenants. However, where this approach fails or it is necessary to protect the health and safety of persons within a rented property the service will take necessary enforcement action.

If you rent from the private sector and your home is in a poor condition, you must report your concerns in writing to your landlord or managing agent first to try to sort out any problems before contacting the Council. It is useful for tenants to keep a log of any contact or correspondence with their landlord.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your landlord or managing agent, then you can contact the Housing Standards Team. You would be required to provide a contact telephone number and name and address of your landlord/letting agent.

If you rent your property from a Housing Association and you have reported disrepair from them without a resolution, you should first follow their internal formal complaints procedure and if necessary, make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman before making contact with the Council’s Housing Standards Team. We will not investigate reports of disrepair where this procedure has not been followed, unless there is an imminent risk to health and safety.

Initially your landlord would be contacted and advised to carry out an inspection and commence necessary repairs. However, if your landlord does not respond to us, or does not take sufficient action, a housing officer will contact you to arrange an inspection of the property. This inspection will be carried out under Section 4 of the Housing Act 2004 and a full Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) assessment will be made.

A decision would then be made as to what action is appropriate, such as informal advice or service of a legal notice on the property owner to address serious defects. You would be notified of the action to be taken.

If you wish to make a complaint regarding your rented property complete the disrepair online reporting form.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regulations

Under this legislation private sector landlords are required to ensure that at least one smoke alarm is installed on every storey of their rented property and that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. The legislation also requires landlords to ensure that alarms are in proper working order at the start of each new tenancy.

The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms (such as hard wired or battery powered) to be installed. Landlords should make an informed decision and choose the best alarms for their properties and tenants.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will come into force on 1 October 2022. From that date, all relevant landlords must ensure:

  • at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation
  •  a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers)
  • smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty

Trafford Council is responsible for enforcing the Regulations. We will be able to issue a remedial notice requiring a landlord to fit and/or test the alarms within 28 days. If the landlord fails to comply with the notice, the local housing authority must, if the occupier consents, arrange for the alarms to be fitted and/or tested. The local housing authority can also levy a civil penalty charge on the landlord of up to £5,000.

We have published a statement of principles for determining financial penalties as to how this legislation will be implemented.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

Since 1 April 2021, landlords have legally been required to provide evidence that the electrical installation of their privately rented properties is safe to all tenants.

Landlords must ensure their properties are inspected by a competent person at least every 5 years and have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate in place.

Where further investigation or failures are identified within an EICR, remedial works must be carried out within 28 days from the date of the report (or within the time specified within the report if sooner).

The certificate or report must be provided to a tenant before occupancy and to any current tenant within 28 days of the remedial works being completed, as well as to the Local Authority.

If the Council has to ask for a copy of the EICR report, it must be provided within 7 days. This can be sent to the Housing Standards Team at housing.standards@trafford.gov.uk.

Failure to comply with the Regulations could lead to further action and a fine of up to £30,000 per offence.

More information see Electrical Safety Standards Regulations.

Damp and Excess Cold

The Housing Standards Team regularly receive complaints about damp and excess cold within their privately rented properties, especially in the winter months. We can deal with these hazards, where it is identified that there is a structural issue or disrepair, which the landlord is responsible for rectifying. 

However, some properties suffer from condensation dampness, which can often be attributable to the way we live our day to day lives through cooking and bathing etc. Ensuring that a property is adequately heated, ventilated and insulated can help reduce condensation dampness within the home. Find out more information about reducing condensation and dampness.

If you are struggling to insulate or heat your home, see make your home more energy efficient (trafford.gov.uk) for help and advice that may be available to you.

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