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Advice for landlords and tenants

Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a safe and healthy home. We work with private landlords, tenants and home owners to improve the quality of people's homes. We provide licences for landlords. If necessary, we can require repairs or carry out improvements to a residential property so that it meets minimum housing standards.

You can find more information about rights and responsibilities for both tenants and landlords on the Government's private renting pages.

Private landlords are responsible for ensuring their properties are safe and free from health hazards. The National Landlords Association (NLA) has information on making sure you are renting a safe and secure home.

Damp and mould

Shelter have developed guidance to find out what your responsibilities are as a tenant or landlord and how you can reduce damp.

Damp and mould can be caused by:

  • a lack of adequate heating or ventilation.
  • leaks or water seeping in from outside
  • rising damp coming into the house from the ground
  • a high level of moisture and being produced in the house, for example from clothes drying

Energy efficiency

You may be able to take advantage of offers to improve the energy efficiency of your home, and reduce your energy bills from the Warm and Well website.  

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows the energy efficiency of a home. It uses an A to G ratings system which allows prospective owners and tenants to consider the affordability of a home in terms of the likely heating and lighting costs.  Landlords and homeowners must provide tenants or owners with a free copy of the EPC.  An EPC is not required for any property that was occupied before 1 October 2008 and continues to be occupied by the same tenant. An EPC survey must be carried out by an accredited domestic energy assessor who should visit your home. You can search for an accredited assessor using the EPC Register

Privately rented homes meet basic energy efficiency requirements.  Landlords cannot grant a new lease or tenancy for a property with an Energy Performance rating below ‘E’.  It is also legal requirement for properties with existing leases and tenancies to have a minimum EPC rating of E.  

Fire and gas safety

Fire safety precautions within rented properties are essential. Use the Housing Fire Safety guidance issued by Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services. 

Landlords are required to install working smoke alarms in rental properties. The Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service offer guidance on the types of smoke alarms you should fit. GOV.UK also have advice for landlords on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Appliances must be checked at least once a year. Keep your record of inspection available so that inspectors can view it when they visit. Gas Safe Register ensures competent standards for all gas fitters. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also have gas safety advice.

If you think there is a gas leak or any other gas emergency call the emergency line on 0800 111 999.

Overcrowding

Overcrowding can lead to physical and mental health problems.

The legal standard has changed very little since the early 1900s and many people may find that they are not legally overcrowded even though their living conditions are very cramped. You can check if your home is overcrowded on the Shelter website.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System  evaluates potential risks to health and safety of occupiers or visitors from any deficiencies identified in homes. 

If you think you may be overcrowded please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances, email ers@westoxon.gov.uk to request further information or an inspection.

Redress scheme

It is a legal requirement for all letting agents and property managers in England to belong to one of the Government approved redress schemes:

This means that tenants and landlords are able to complain to an independent body if they have any issues.

Right to rent

Within 28 days before the start of a new tenancy, landlords must make checks to make sure tenants are legally allowed to rent property. They must check people aged 18 and over living in the property, whether they are named in the tenancy agreement or not. This applies to all types of tenancy agreements, written or oral.

Tenants in some types of accommodation (for example, social housing and care homes) will not need to be checked.

Gov.UK has information on how to check a tenant is legally able to rent your property.