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Poor Conditions in Private Rented Housing

If you rent your home and it is in poor condition, you should always speak to and write to your landlord first to try to sort out any problems. If your landlord does not agree to do the repairs, you can contact the council with details of the problem.

Please email environmental.health@eastherts.gov.uk. A council officer will respond within 1-3 working days, depending on the risk, and give advice. They will usually contact your landlord before visiting if necessary.

The officer will assess defects and hazards and decide what action (if any) they can take. They will contact your landlord if there are significant hazards which could cause harm.

We will consider our enforcement policy, statutory enforcement guidance, and your views when deciding the appropriate course of action. For more information on enforcement, please view Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy [289kb].

Enforcement Action

Unless urgent, your landlord will be given a reasonable specified time to complete the repairs. If there is a threat to your health, or your landlord does not do the works voluntarily, a legal notice will usually be served, stating the works needed and the time to complete them by.

We usually charge the landlord to cover our costs of enforcement action.

A copy of the notice will be sent to you.

In some cases the owner may request an extension of time. This will be granted if the owner is taking steps to solve the problem and there is a genuine reason for the delay.

The owner may carry out different works to those on the notice; this is acceptable providing the council agrees they will solve the problem.

Incomplete Works

If the time allowed for the works expires and no works have been done, the owner will be given a final warning. If the works are still not done the council will take legal action against the owner, which can result in a fine.

In cases where there is a threat to health, the council may carry out the works on behalf of the owner and charge the cost of the works, plus an administration charge, to the owner.

Your case officer will inform you of the progress with your case.

The council is only able to offer the above service to private tenants. Owner-occupiers and long leaseholders should seek legal advice.

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