Housing Conditions and repair
The Private Sector Housing team provide a range of services for people living in privately owned or privately rented homes within the Tendring District.
We deal with issues such as disrepair, illegal eviction, energy efficiency measures, grants, houses in multiple occupation and empty homes. We also have a role in liaising with Essex County Council over unauthorised gypsy encampments.
If you are a Tenant and your home is in disrepair, what should you do?
Always report any disrepair to your landlord or their representative first, preferably in writing and keep copies of the letters including dates when sent.
If your landlord or someone representing them has not contacted you after a reasonable amount of time, then contact us (contact details below). If you think the works are dangerous or urgent then contact us at the same time that you contact your landlord.
To ensure that these repairs are made we have enforcement powers under the Housing Act 2004, Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Public Health Acts. Landlords are obliged to ensure that homes are free from any hazards that could affect the health and safety of the occupant. We inspect and assess properties under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used to identify hazards and outline when we have a duty or power to act.
We also look at issues where there is a public health risk or statutory nuisance. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides legislation for local authorities to deal with complaints known as 'statutory nuisances.'
What can we do?
Any action that we take will be in accordance with our Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy. Initially we take an informal approach writing to both you and the landlord and including a schedule of works which highlights the hazards at the property and suggests the works that will reduce these hazards to an acceptable level. The landlord will then need to contact us to inform this service of a program of works and to agree on a time scale for the works to be completed. We then arrange to visit the property approximately four weeks later to check on the progress of the works. If we feel insufficient progress has been made, formal enforcement action may be taken and a notice may be served on your landlord requiring him to complete the scheduled works.
If your landlord has not appealed against this notice and does not carry out the works within the time allowed, then the council may carry out the works in default, recover the costs from the landlord and/or take legal action.
Sometimes the assessed risk is so low that we cannot make the landlord carry out the works and in this case we will only recommend the landlord to carry out remedial works.
Private Sector Housing, 90 Pier Avenue, Clacton on Sea, Essex, CO15 1NJ
Telephone: 01255 686744 (Grant enquires) or 01255 686617 (all other Private Sector Housing enquires)