Poor conditions in council or housing association homes

If poor conditions in your home are putting your health at risk, report them to your landlord immediately.

Conditions that can affect your health or safety

It's important to deal with problems in your home such as:

Report poor conditions

You can report poor conditions in the same way as you report repair problems. Tell your landlord how your health or safety is affected.

You must allow your landlord or their contractor access to see what the problem is and what can be done about it. Allow a reasonable time for the work to be done.

Complain to environmental health

You can contact the environmental health department at your local council if the council or housing association landlord doesn't fix the problems,

An environmental health officer should inspect your home. They use the Housing Health and Safety Rating System to check if the conditions in your home are a risk to your health or safety.

Council tenants

Environmental health can't take formal enforcement action against the council, but it can:

  • serve an informal notice telling your housing office to do repair work
  • send them a report that sets out what needs to be done to make your home safe

Use your council's complaints procedure if the housing office won't do the work that's needed or doesn't pay attention to the environment health report.

Housing association tenants

Environmental health can take enforcement action against the housing association. They may order them to take action to tackle the problems in your home.

Use your housing association's complaints procedure if they won't do the work that's needed.

Problems affecting neighbours

The environmental health department may decide that the conditions in your home also cause a nuisance or risk to your neighbours or the public.

These could include:

  • tiles falling off your roof on to the street
  • a toilet leaking into the flat downstairs 

Complain to the Ombudsman

If making a complaint to your landlord isn't successful, consider complaining to the Ombudsman. You may also be able to take legal action against your landlord.

Still need advice?

You can get help and advice from:

Call Shelter’s free advice helpline on 0808 800 4444

8am – 8pm on weekdays and 9am – 5pm on weekends, 365 days a year


Last updated 08 Sep 2017 | © Shelter

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