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Housing standards and poor housing conditions

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All landlords have certain obligations to make sure your property is kept in reasonable repair, is in a safe condition and complies to the relevant housing legislation. This legislation differs depending on how the property is occupied and for houses in multiple occupation, which is more prescriptive than those properties occupied by single families.

Single dwellings, houses occupied by a single family

The landlord is responsible for ensuring kitchens and bathrooms are maintained in full working order. The property should be suitably heated, and all doors and windows should be weatherproof and in working order.

The outside of the property should also be maintained, gutters should not leak and the building itself should not be in disrepair.

Smoke detectors, ideally mains linked, should be fitted but a 10-year sealed battery detector will suffice. A carbon monoxide alarm is not essential but should be provided as good practice.

A carbon monoxide alarm must be provided in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. Read about Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations 2015.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 state that a landlord must, by law, provide tenants with an annual gas safety certificate (CP12). All gas engineers must be registered on the gas safe register. They will carry an identity card that you can ask to see. If you are unsure about an engineer, you can check their registration online on For more information visit the HSE website for gas safety advice and to report a property with no gas safety certificate.

An energy performance certificate (EPC) should also be supplied to you at the beginning of your tenancy. For more information on EPCs see the (EPCs) and Renting Homes - a Landlords Guide.

Read about tenancy legal requirements.

Houses in multiple occupation

Read about houses in multiple occupation.

Poor housing conditions and complaints procedure

If you live in a private rented or housing association property and it’s in disrepair, and you’re struggling with your landlord or letting agent to get the repairs carried out, we may be able to help you. Tenants in Poole Housing Partnership properties will need to report their repairs direct to Poole Housing Partnership.

Where possible, or where it is required, verification checks will be made. We would then write to your landlord or letting agent informing them we have received a complaint about their property and raise the issues with them. We would give them 14 days to reply to our letter and to provide details of what works they are intending to carry out.

If we do not receive a response or it is felt the response will not satisfactorily address the complaint, an inspection and assessment in accordance with part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, Housing Health and Safety Rating Systems, will be carried out.

The outcome of this assessment will then determine whether further action against the landlord is appropriate. The landlord will be informed of their repair obligations and if they still fail to carry out works, a statutory notice may be served.

How to complain

We suggest that you put your disrepair issues in writing to your landlord or letting agent. Allow a minimum of 14 days. If you do not receive a response, or the response is unsatisfactory, you can complain to us.

When you have written to your landlord or letting agent, make sure you keep a copy of the letter. This will help to protect you should your landlord retaliate by serving you with a notice when the repairs are significant enough to warrant enforcement action. This is covered in the Deregulation Act 2015 and applied from 1 October 2015.

Complete the online property disrepair complaints form.

Please note this service has a privacy notice.

Accommodation standards

Private rented accommodation should meet the minimum standards of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

Read our Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy.

Properties must meet all the requirements explained in the Housing Act (2004), Environmental Protection Act (1990), Landlord and Tenant (Covenant) Act (1995) and planning permission and building regulations.

A Gas Safe registered contractor must check all gas appliances annually.

All gas installations must meet the requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

All electrical installations should meet the requirements of BS7671: 1992(British Standards for low voltage electrical appliances). Work should be carried out by a registered contractor.

If you’re renting a property that’s already furnished, it must meet the requirements of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations (1988).

The Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work

All letting agents and property managers in England are legally required by The Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc) (England) Order 2014 to join one of three government-approved schemes:

This means that you complain to an independent person about the bad service, and this prevent disputes from getting worse.

If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, email details to and we'll help you and advise you of your rights.

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