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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.

Repair responsibilities

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

What counts as a repair

There is no straightforward definition of the word 'repair'. It is subject to continuing interpretation by the courts. Ultimately whether something is a repair will depend on the facts of the individual situation. 

Legal remedies for disrepair

How tenants, landlords and public authorities can exercise the three sources of remedies for repair - contract, tort, and statute 

Local authority assitance with 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. 

Tenancy rights and compensation 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. 

When a landlord fails to repair

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

Contractual rights to repairs

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

Liability for housing repairs

Liability for repairs that arises in tort 

Statutory rights to housing repairs

Liability for disrepair where there are no contractual (express or implied) terms 

Local authority duty to review housing conditions

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

Local authority duties and powers under the 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

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

Selective licensing schemes

Selective licensing schemes for privately rented housing. 

What is overcrowding?

The space standard and the room standard in relation to overcrowding. 

When overcrowding is permitted

The three situations where overcrowding will be allowed. 

Dealing with overcrowding

Action that can be taken on overcrowding by the landlord, an occupier and the local authority. 

Gas and fire 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. 

Noise nuisance

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. 

Energy standards and improvements

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

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