Coronavirus (Covid-19) Advice for Tenants and Landlords
If you feel that your landlord is not responding appropriately to a problem that is urgent then you can contact us for advice. Where possible, please email us with photographs of the issue.Contractors undertaking works should:
- Keep a minimum of 2m apart from people in your household.
- Wash their hands frequently.
- Wipe down all surfaces in the area that they have been working in.
Further advice is available at:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
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.
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)
- Legal requirement to test electrical installations at minimum 5 year intervals
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)
Please see our Houses in Multiple Occupation page.
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.
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.
How is it enforced and what are the penalties?
We have 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.
An officer will;
- Look for any risk of harm to an actual or potential occupant.
- Judge the risk that could cause harm over the next twelve months.
All judgements will be made based on people most vulnerable to the hazard. Even if they are not the occupant at the time.
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