Problems with your rented housing

If there is a problem with the repair or maintenance of your rented home, you should contact your landlord, in writing (example email/letter), to report the problem. If after a reasonable amount of time, the repair has not been carried out then complete the Reporting disrepair of a property form.

After receiving your submission, we may visit your home to inspect the problem using the health and safety rating system. This enables us to see if any hazards are present which affect the health and safety of those both living in and visiting the property. 

What happens next

If we see a problem we will contact your landlord to explain what work should be done to avoid one of the following notices being served.

  • Hazard awareness notice - this is used for relatively minor hazards and is intended to make your landlord aware of a problem.
  • Improvement notice - this specifies what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.
  • Prohibition order - these are used for the most serious hazards and will stop the landlord using a certain part of the property
  • Emergency order - these are used in extreme circumstances. An emergency order can immediately stop the use of all or part of the property as living accommodation.

If your landlord is not co-operative, it can take many months for the work to begin. Occasionally landlords will give their tenants notice to quit, which enables the tenant or landlord to terminate a periodic tenancy, and ultimately gain possession of the property.

Letting furnished accommodation

If you let furnished accommodation all furniture you provide must be fire resistant. The furniture and furnishings regulations 1988 set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furnishings. These regulations are enforced by Trading Standards.

Upholstered furniture filled with polyurethane foam tends to burn quickly and gives off large amounts of smoke and poisonous fumes.

Older or second-hand furniture may only be used if it has the appropriate label showing that it is cigarette and match-resistant.

The regulations apply to:

  • Beds, mattresses, headboards and pillows
  • Sofa beds, futons, scatter cushions and seat pads
  • Loose and stretch covers for furniture

The regulations do not apply to:

  • Sleeping bags or loose covers for mattresses
  • Bed clothes, duvets and pillow cases
  • Carpets and curtains

New furniture that complies with the regulations is sold with a permanent label stating that it is cigarette and match-resistant. Landlords should ensure that they do not let accommodation with furniture that is not fire resistant.

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