Environmental health inspection
We are here to ensure safe and healthy homes for all privately rented housing. We have a variety of powers and duties to ensure that required standards are met.
If you are a private tenant living in substandard housing conditions we will consider taking action against your landlord if they appear to be unwilling to meet their responsibilities.
Landlords who let accommodation have a responsibility to ensure that it is maintained in a safe condition.
The landlord is responsible for:
- the structure – roofs, gutters, ceilings, walls, floors, windows, doors, staircases, steps and drainage
- installations in the property for the supply of gas, water and electricity
- installations for heating and hot water
In addition, the property should be free from damp, properly ventilated and bathroom and kitchen facilities should be adequate.
For properties which are let as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) there are additional requirements for fire safety and amenities. You can find information about these on the Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) page.
As a tenant, you are responsible for:
- looking after internal decorations, furniture and equipment
- occupying the property in a tenant-like manner and taking reasonable steps to avoid causing damage to the property or neighbouring properties
- reporting any problems with the property to the landlord or landlord's agent and giving the landlord access, when necessary, to carry out the repairs.
What should I do if I'm concerned about the standard of my accommodation?
You should inform your landlord of the problem at an early stage, and allow them a reasonable period to put it right. Your landlord has the right to enter your home to carry out repairs as long as reasonable notice has been given, and sometimes without notice if there is an emergency.
Help and advice
Please contact the Private Sector Housing Environmental Health Team on 020 7926 4444/4247, firstname.lastname@example.org for help and advice if:
- you are unsure if your landlord is responsible for the repairs
- if you feel that the defect(s) pose an immediate danger to you
- the landlord refuses to do the work or agrees to do them but does not start or finish them within a reasonable time (usually 28 days is sufficient).
You will be asked to provide the details of the disrepair to the private rented property and also the landlords or managing agents name, address and contact telephone number.
Once your complaint is received, our officers will normally arrange to visit your property to inspect the disrepair.
The property conditions are assessed in accordance with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The HHSRS identifies 29 hazards which are used to assess properties reported as not being in a reasonable state of repair.
If you are already on a waiting list to be re-housed by the council, please be aware that the HHSRS has no influence on your place in the list. It is a tool to help you in your current property, not a fast track system for rehousing.
Wherever possible, we will work with the landlord to remedy any disrepair. However, where co-operation is not achieved, and the property remains in an 'unsafe' or 'hazardous' condition the local authority will use its powers to take enforcement action to deal with hazards in the interests of the health and safety of occupants, and particularly, in relation to vulnerable households.
Freeholders or leaseholders
If you are freeholder or leaseholder you are responsible for any repairs that are required to your dwelling. However, we can give advice and in some situations take direct action if the health and safety of your living environment is threatened.