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Housing conditions

This content applies to England & Wales

Examination of the rights and duties involved in disrepair and poor housing conditions, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, nuisance, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and overcrowding.

Disrepair: rights, duties and remedies

The repairing rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant and the duty of care of the occupier. The definition of repair, and sources of remedies for disrepair. 

Grants for improvements and repairs

Assistance that may be available from local authorities to help with the cost of repairs, improvements, adaptations, demolition and/or rebuilding. Also covered are eligibility for assistance and application procedures. 

Problems during repairs

Problems that can arise during repair work, the rights of tenants temporarily displaced during repairs, and compensation for occupiers who have to leave their homes because of poor conditions. 

Taking action on disrepair

Options for tenants whose landlord has failed to carry out repairs. 

Contractual rights including implied terms

The implied and express contractual rights of tenants in cases of disrepair. 

Non-contractual rights

Liability for disrepair where there are no contractual (express or implied) terms. Liability that arises in tort. 

Local authority duty to keep housing conditions under review

A description of the duty of local housing authorities to keep housing conditions in their area under review. 

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

Local authorities' duties and powers to inspect rented housing and enforce repair and improvement works. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) that was introduced by the Housing Act 2004 and came into force on 6 April 2006, replacing the fitness standard and enforcement action under the Housing Act 1985. 

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Legislation and issues associated with houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). 

Selective licensing

Selective licensing schemes for privately rented housing. 

Safety in the home

The law in relation to specific hazards that can be found in and around the home eg, gas (including radon and carbon monoxide) and electrical safety, fire safety, furnishings, refuse and vermin. 


The definition of noise and the different methods clients can use to try to remedy noise nuisance. 


Asbestos and housing. Where it may be found, why it is dangerous, what measures can be taken to deal with it, and how to take action if these measures are insufficient. 


The definition of statutory overcrowding, including the space standard and the room standard. Situations where overcrowding is permissible, and the offences relating to overcrowding. Action that can be taken by an occupier, a landlord or a local authority when premises are overcrowded. 

Energy performance

Examination of the requirements for energy performance certificates in relation to buying and renting properties. 

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