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Housing repairs, standards and enforcement

Rented Accommodation

Repairs to rented accommodation can either be the responsibility of the landlord or the tenant and are normally stipulated within the tenancy agreement. Generally, the landlord is responsible for structural repairs, repairs to essential supplies (water, gas, electricity etc.) or any repair where there may be a risk to health and safety.  

Tenants are usually responsible for internal decorations and for the upkeep of items installed by themselves. Where a tenant, a member of their family or visitor damages the property the repair would normally be the tenant’s responsibility.

You should contact your landlord first to ask them to carry out repairs. If your landlord is refusing to do the repairs please contact enquiries@rutland.gov.uk

Our officers will offer advice, carry out inspections of properties and, if necessary, enforce housing legislation against a landlord. If you are concerned about dangerous conditions or disrepair in your home, or amenities provided such as kitchens, bathrooms and toilets, please get in touch.

Owner Occupied Accommodation

If you own your own property, we share the Government’s view that the prime responsibility for maintaining and improving housing rests with the owner. There are no longer any grants available for repairs to owner occupied properties. If you are looking for assistance for insulation, boiler replacements and making your home more energy efficient, your energy provider can assist you with this. You can also contact enquiries@rutland.gov.uk and we will be able to offer you information on the government and energy company funding schemes currently available.

Enforcement

All landlords have a legal responsibility to maintain their properties and ensure they are let in a good state of repair. The property must be free from all serious health and safety hazards. Where the landlord fails in the duty, officers will inspect the property using the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and where necessary enforce the landlord to remedy the hazard(s) to an acceptable level in the property.

The council has a statutory duty to take action to remove Category 1 Hazards identified under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and conditions that are cause a statutory nuisance in dwellings. The council must also run a licensing scheme for certain types of high risk houses in multiple occupation (HMO). Various acts of Parliament also give the council discretionary powers to resolve unsatisfactory conditions in houses, HMOs and flats, and to reduce the impact of long term empty properties.

Informal action may include:

  • Offering advice
  • Verbal warning and requests for action
  • Written correspondence

Formal action may include:

Action under the provisions of Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 to:

  • Serve an improvement notice under section 11
  • Serve a suspended improvement notice under section 14
  • Make a prohibition order under section 20
  • Formal caution
  • Prosecution
The council reserves the right, in appropriate circumstances, to charge and recover its reasonable costs in taking the most appropriate course of action, as allowed under Sections 49 and 50 of the Housing Act 2004.

Overcrowding

We use the Housing Health and Safety Rating System to make an assessment of the risks posed to individuals living in a property where there are issues surrounding crowding and space.  We also use figures set in law to determine the maximum number of people who can occupy a dwelling based on the size and number of rooms, and the age, sex and relationship of the people living there. The number of people, room sizes and the facilities provided are also considered in determining the numbers of people who can live in houses in multiple occupation

If you are affected by any of these issues or suspect a house near you is overcrowded, you should contact your local housing enforcement at enquiries@rutland.gov.uk

Room standards

When two people of opposite sexes who are not cohabiting have to share a room a contravention has taken place, accept

  • In single occupancies - children under 10
  • In HMOs - children under 12 (Housing Act 1985 Sec 360)
  • In lodging houses - children under 8

Space standard

When the number of people sleeping in a house exceeds the permitted numbers with regard to the number of rooms and their floor areas available as sleeping accommodation a contravention has taken place. In determining  numbers of people in terms of units, the following applies:

  • Child under 1 year - 0 unit
  • 1 year to 10 years - 0.5 unit
  • 10 years and over - 1 unit

A room is available for sleeping if it is of a type normally used in the locality as a living room or bedroom. The permitted numbers are the lesser of either those calculated from table 1 or table 2:

                Table 1                                                         Table 2
RoomsPeopleFl area m2People
124.64 to 6.50.5
236.5 to 8.371
358.37 to 10.21.5
47.5above 10.22
5 or more2 in each room  

Overcrowding assessment

If you think you may be living in overcrowded conditions, you should contact your local housing enforcement officer at enquiries@rutland.gov.uk

We will then assess your case based on what you tell us. In some cases it may be necessary to make a visit to your house. If a visit is made, we will make a full assessment of the property under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, and take the appropriate enforcement action to resolve any defects we find, whether or not they relate directly to overcrowding.