The Environmental Health Housing Standards Team deals with all private sector and social housing in Mid Sussex.
We ensure that rented housing reaches good standards of occupation.
- Assist vulnerable people by offering interest-free loans for emergency repairs and other works
- Licence larger Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
- Licence caravan sites throughout the district
- Help disabled occupiers adapt their homes to make them easier to live in. Please see our Disabled Facilities Grants page for further information.
Housing standards for private tenants
All rented accommodation must provide:
- A safe and healthy environment for the occupants and any visitors
- Adequate cooking, toilet and personal washing facilities with hot and cold running water
- Safe gas and electrical installations, and appliances (when supplied by the landlord)
- Safe furniture and furnishings (when supplied by the landlord)
What do I do if these standards are not being met?
We have the power to deal with properties that do not comply with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
You should tell your landlord about any problem first.
If they do not carry out the necessary works then please contact us.
An officer will arrange a visit and carry out an inspection if required.
Damp, condensation and mould growth in your home
If you are a tenant and suffer from damp in your property then you should contact your landlord to advise them of the problem.
Your landlord should arrange for a specialist to inspect the damp to confirm its cause.
If the problem is not fixed by your landlord - contact the Housing Standards team for further advice.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
We are responsible for maintaining and improving standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The Council has legal powers to deal with unsatisfactory conditions which do not meet the Council's Prescribed Standards for HMOs.
An HMO is any building, or part of a building - such as a flat - which:
Is occupied by more than one household who share amenities such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities
Is a converted building occupied by more than one household which does not entirely comprise of self contained flats - even if the amenities are shared or not
Is made up of converted self-contained flats that do not meet minimum construction standards required by the 1991 Building Regulation - and at least one third of the flats are occupied under short tenancies.
This definition not only encompasses traditional bedsit type accommodation but also anywhere people share any facilities.
Each student constitutes a single household. Therefore shared student houses are classed as HMOs.
The Housing Act 2004 introduced licensing for HMOs. There are two types of HMO licensing:
All HMOs must have a license if they are:
- Three or more storeys high
- And have five or more people in residence - who are not part of the same family
Councils have discretionary powers to extend licensing to other HMOs which are not subject to mandatory licensing.
Mid Sussex District Council have no plans to introduce additional licensing in the area.
How can a landlord apply for a HMO license?
Contact the Housing Standards Team for details or fill in our printed form: HMO Licensing application form.
Please complete and post to the Housing Standards Team.
Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
What is the 'HHSRS'?
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) has introduced a new risk assessment system. This will affect all owners, landlords and social landlords. It aims to make homes healthier and safer to live in.
The system can deal with 29 hazards relating to:
- Dampness, excess cold/heat
- Pollutants e.g. asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead
- Lack of space, security or lighting, or excessive noise
- Poor hygiene, sanitation, water supply
- Accidents - falls, electric shocks, fires, burns, scalds
- Collisions, explosions, structural collapse
The assessment will show the presence of any serious 'Category 1' hazards and other less serious 'Category 2' hazards.
A risk assessment looks at the likelihood of an incident arising from the condition of the property and the likely harmful outcome. If we discover category 1 hazards in a home, we have a duty to take the most appropriate action.
For more information please take a look at our HHSRS leaflet.
How is it enforced and what are the penalties?
Mid Sussex has a duty to take action if our inspectors discover category 1 hazards in a home. They will offer advice on work that needs to be done. If this is ignored we may serve notice on a property owner requiring improvements to the property.
A property owner who feels that an assessment is wrong can discuss this with the inspector and can challenge the enforcement decision through the Residential Property Tribunal.
Failure to comply with a statutory notice could lead to a fine of up to £5,000 and/or the council carrying out work in default.
What is the 'Decent Homes Standard'?
A decent home:
- Meets the current minimum standard for housing
- Is in a reasonable state of repair
- Has modern facilities and services
- Is not too cold
Please note: The Decent Homes Standard is not enforced by law. We do not have powers to require owners to comply.
Housing Standards Team