Disrepair and Unsafe Properties

Disrepair and Unsafe Properties

If you need repairs carried out to your home then you must contact your landlord or managing/ letting agent before asking the Council to act for you. If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy you have repairing rights and responsibilities. 

It is important that you report the repairs to your landlord in writing. You can use a Request for Repairs letter template for this purpose: 

  • Request for Repairs letter template (Microsoft Word format)

You need to fill in your name and address, the landlord’s (or agent’s) name and address and what works need to be fixed, in the relevant boxes. Then you need to send the letter to your landlord and keep a copy. Also keep copies of any replies you get.

Your landlord or letting agent has 14 days to sort out the problems. If, however, you have a problem that is really dangerous, you do not have to wait 14 days and should let your landlord know as soon as possible. Examples of this may be a gas leak, a major plumbing leak, dangerous electrical sockets, a collapsing roof, etc.

If your landlord does not respond within 14 days, then you need to contact Environmental Health: environmentalhealth@scilly.gov.uk

We will arrange to inspect the issues and may ask your landlord to be there too. We will then decide what needs to be done and arrange with the landlord an acceptable timescale for works to be completed. We can then serve a Notice to ensure action is taken when appropriate. We can follow this up mandatory works if the landlord fails to act by taking them to Court or arranging to do the works they have failed to do.

Normally most responsible landlords will do the works when requested; however, sometimes they may not be very happy that you complained. If your tenancy began after October 2015 your landlord cannot evict you in certain circumstances just because you complained to us. This protection from eviction lasts for 6 months from when we became involved. Your landlord can still evict you for other matters such as not paying your rent, anti-social behaviour and nuisance.

If you have any questions, or if your landlord has not responded to a written request for repairs, please contact us at environmentalhealth@scilly.gov.uk

If enforcement is taken, at the point when the Council issues any notice that is not a Hazard Awareness Notice, the Council will look to levy a charge/ fee as published in the Fees and Charges Information.

Environmental Health cannot enter your premises to undertake a housing safety assessment without giving your landlord at least 24 hrs notification.

The Council has powers under the Housing Act 2004 to deal with disrepair issues in privately rented properties where landlords have failed to act. Where an inspection is required, an assessment using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is carried out.

HHSRS inspections give 'hazard scores' for 29 health and safety areas. The scores are based on the risk of harm to an actual or potential occupier of a dwelling which results from a deficiency in the dwelling, and the seriousness of that harm.

The hazard scores are banded from A to J with band A being the highest risk. Hazards that are in bands A to C are classified as Category 1 hazards and the remainder are classified as Category 2 hazards.

Housing conditions that we will investigate can include:

  • Asbestos and manufactured mineral fibres (MMF)
  • Biocides
  • Carbon Monoxide and fuel combustion products
  • Collision and entrapment
  • Crowding and space
  • Damp and mould growth
  • Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
  • Electrical hazards
  • Entry by intruders
  • Ergonomics
  • Excess cold
  • Excess heat
  • Explosions
  • Falls associated with baths, etc
  • Falls associated with stairs and steps
  • Falls between levels
  • Falls on the level
  • Fire
  • Food safety
  • Hot surfaces and materials
  • Lead
  • Lighting
  • Noise
  • Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
  • Radiation
  • Structural collapse and failing elements
  • Uncombusted fuel gas
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Water supply for domestic purposes

Some people live in Houses in Multiple Occupation, shared accommodation, bed-sits, self-contained flats, hostels or lodgings, and apart from the standards listed above, there may be additional provisions that apply to means of escape and fire protection, as well as overcrowding.