Issues that could seriously affect your health or safety

If you rent your home from a private landlord, you can report serious issues to our Residential Services team.

The Council has emergency powers to deal with issues such as:

  • sewage leaking into the house
  • dangerous electrics
  • no hot water
  • carbon monoxide leaks
  • parts of the home or parts of the garden likely to collapse, such as walls, or steps
  • no drinking water.

Less serious issues

You can also report issues such as:

  • water leaks
  • problems with the toilet or bathroom
  • no heating
  • broken windows
  • damp and mould
  • fire safety.

Contact your landlord first

You should first contact your landlord about the issue. Tell your landlord what's wrong with your property. This must be in writing (unless you don’t have the contact details) so you can keep a record, for example, email, text or letter.

They must respond within 14 days and let you know what they are going to do and when.

Report the issue if the landlord doesn't respond

If they don't respond within 14 days, or don't carry out any repairs then report the issue to the Residential Services team.

What happens next

We use a health and safety rating system to assess a property and if we find significant hazards we have powers to make the landlord improve the property, or we can stop or restrict how the property is being used.

If we find an issue and take formal enforcement action, then your landlord can't evict you using a Section 21 (Notice to Quit) until the work is done. If we don't find an issue, then the landlord can use these eviction powers.

If your landlord doesn't comply, you may be able to get rent back.

Getting rent back from your landlord

Tenants and former tenants can reclaim up to 12 months' rent with a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) if the landlord has committed a housing-related offence.

We will let you know if we believe your landlord has committed a relevant offence, after our investigations.

A tenant can then make an application to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) for a RRO. Find out more about about Rent Repayment Orders.

Tenants can get help with their application from a Citizens Advice Bureau, a student union, or another local organisation.

The laws protecting tenants still apply and a landlord has no right to make a tenant leave their home because they are applying for a RRO.