This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Housing conditions

This content applies to England & Wales

Rights and duties involved in dealing with disrepair and poor housing conditions, nuisance, and overcrowding.

Repair responsibilities

The repairing rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant and the duty of care owed by an occupier. 

Legal remedies for disrepair

The ways for tenants, landlords and public authorities to obtain remedies for disrepair under contract, tort, or statute. 

Local authority assistance with improvements and repairs

Grants and assistance may be available from local authorities to help with the cost of repairs, improvements, adaptations, demolition or rebuilding. 

Tenancy rights and compensation during repairs

Problems arising during repair work, rights of tenants temporarily displaced and compensation for occupiers who must leave their home permanently. 

When a landlord fails to repair

Compensation and help for tenants in different types of homes whose landlord has failed to carry out repairs. 

Contractual rights to repairs

The rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in cases of disrepair that are implied into agreements under legislation or common law. 

Liability for housing repairs

Liability for repairs that arises in torts of negligence or nuisance and the actions the affected party can take. 

Statutory rights to housing repairs

Liability and remedies for disrepair under the law where there are no contractual express or implied terms. 

Compensation for people displaced from their home

A person may be entitled to a home loss payment or disturbance payment if they are permanently displaced from their home. 

Statutory nuisance due to poor housing conditions

Occupiers may be able to get help from the local authority or take action themselves if poor housing conditions amount to a statutory nuisance. 

Local authority duty to review housing conditions

A local authority must keep the housing conditions in its area under review to identifying any action that may need to be taken. 

Local authority duties and powers under the HHSRS

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and how local authorities inspect rented housing and protect against hazards. 

Houses in multiple occupation

Rules for management and maintenance of good housing conditions in houses in multiple occupation (HMO). 

Selective licensing schemes

Selective licensing for privately rented housing is available if local authorities believe it would reduce or eliminate specific housing problems. 

Overcrowding legal definition

The space standard and the room standard in relation to statutory overcrowding, which is a criminal offence. 

When overcrowding is permitted

Situations where overcrowding will be allowed even if more people live in the house than is acceptable under the standards. 

Dealing with overcrowding

Actions that can be taken by the landlord, the local authority, or the tenant, and homelessness application because of overcrowding 

Gas and fire safety in the home

The law in relation to safety in the home, covering gas (including carbon monoxide and radon) and electrical safety, furnishings and fire safety. 

Noise nuisance

Noise can cause stress and health problems, and the affected people may use different methods to remedy noise nuisance. 

Neighbour nuisance

Actions that might constitute antisocial behaviour, and explanation of the courses of action and legal remedies that may be available to an occupier. 

Asbestos in housing

Asbestos was widely used in housing and may pose health risks. Landlords must safely manage asbestos and tenants can take action if the measures are insufficient. 

Energy standards and improvements

Energy performance certificates (EPCs) required when buying and renting properties and energy efficiency improvements. 

Back to top