Housing Standards in the Private Rented Sector

Welcome to our information page about Housing Standards in the Private Rented Sector  

General Information about Housing Standards in the Private Rented Sector

What does the Housing Standards team do?

The team ensure that private rented homes in Derby meet legal requirements for health and safety. The team is also responsible for the licensing of landlords who own larger houses in multiple occupation.

Wherever possible the team acts as an advisory service to landlords, producing newsletters as well as running occasional training sessions and seminars.

We also work closely with the local Normanton and Peartree Landlords’ Association (Chairman Mr. Balwant Bubber - telephone 01332 768967), the regional association, East Midlands Property Owners Ltd and the National Landlords Association 
We encourage all landlords to become a member of an association. They are usually excellent sources of information and advice.

For those landlords who wish to be recognized for high standards of management the team operate the Derby Accredited Property Scheme.

News letters

Our Newsletter - 2016 is designed to keep private landlords with properties in Derby informed and up to date with housing related issues. 

For more information on matters affecting the private rented sector visit the Decent and Safe Homes in the East Midlands (DASH) website. DASH is an organization that exists specifically to help and inform existing and ‘would be’ landlords.

What is the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)?

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a system which Housing Standards officers must use to assess the seriousness of hazards in someone’s home. There are up to 29 hazards that an officer may have to look at. The Council has a legal duty to address category one hazards (the most serious) using formal action against a landlord and a power to do the same with regard to category two hazards. Some of the most common hazards found in private rented sector homes are excessive cold, dampness and mould growth, fire, crowding and space, electrical hazards and falls (on stairs, steps and on the level).

If you are a landlord and want to know more about HHSRS you can read the following:

If you would like to know more about our approach to enforcement of housing standards in the private rented sector, please email the Housing Standards Team  or phone 01332 640764.

If you are a tenant and wish to contact the Housing Standards Team about your living conditions use our tenants contact form

Other useful resources for tenants: 

What is the Derby City Council Landlords Charter?

Derby City Council Landlords Charter is a document which sets out the standard to which properties in the private rented sector should reach to avoid any enforcement action under the Housing Act 2004. This document will be publicised as widely as possible amongst landlords and ‘would be landlords’ with the intention of reducing complaints from tenants about their living conditions.

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) and HMO licensing

Contents

What is a ‘house in multiple occupation’ (HMO)?

In most cases an HMO is a house or a flat in which two or more households live as their main or only residence and where some of these households share basic facilities, such as a kitchen, toilet or bathroom. Other types of HMO include converted buildings such as non self-contained flats; buildings that include self-contained flats and which meet certain tests; and other buildings where basic facilities are missing.

Does my HMO require a licence?

At present the Council operates the Mandatory HMO licensing Scheme. Owners of HMOs of three or more storeys (including habitable basements and attics) that have five or more occupants forming two or more households, require a licence. If you own or manage an HMO of this sort and have not already done so, you must apply for a licence. Failing to licence a property is an offence which upon conviction may lead to a very heavy fine. 

You can apply online to licence a house in multiple occupation .

Applications for licenses must be accompanied by the correct fee: Mandatory HMO Licence Fees and Charges  

For further information in connection with licensing:

If you would like to know more about how we administer HMO licensing within the city, please email the Housing Standards Team or phone 01332 640764.

Are there any regulations that cover the management of HMOs?

The Housing Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 apply to all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) other than converted blocks of flats that have their own management regulations and are defined by Section 257 of the Housing Act 2004.

These regulations place a number of duties upon the manager of an HMO. Both landlords and managing agents should make sure they comply with these regulations at all times.

Failing to comply with the HMO management regulations may result in prosecution and an unlimited fine for each offence.

If you need more information about the management regulations please email the Housing Standards Team or phone 01332 640764.

What about amenities and space in HMOs?

We require that HMOs have basic levels of amenities and space. The property must have rooms of a reasonable size and have enough cooking facilities, bathrooms, and toilets for the number of people living there. View our Amenities and space guidance.

If you have any questions about amenities and space in HMOs please email the Housing Standards Team or phone 01332 640764.

Does HHSRS apply to HMOs?

Yes, small shared houses will be assessed as one unit but in bigger houses an HHSRS assessment will be carried out in each living unit of the HMO. The common parts of an HMO such as the landing, staircase, hall and any other shared room will be regarded as part of the living unit for the purposes of the assessment.
One of the most important hazards to be assessed in a bedsit type HMO is fire, as the risks are several times higher than in an ordinary family home. When enforcing fire safety standards in dwellings, the Housing Standards Team refer to the National Housing Fire Safety Guide.

Advice for tenants about fire safety can be found in a Fire Safety leaflet.

If you have any more questions about fire safety in HMOs please email the Housing Standards Team or phone 01332 640764.

What requirements are there for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms?

Working alarms save lives – in the event of a fire in a dwelling, occupiers are at least four times more likely to die if there is no working smoke alarm.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015. Private sector landlords are now required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

The requirements will be enforced by Derby City Council Housing Standards Team who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice. They have published a statement of principles it proposes to follow in determining the amount of penalties imposed by the Council under the Regulations.

A Q&A Booklet for the Private Rented Sector provides information for Landlords and tenants about the requirements and who they apply to. It is designed as a Q&A to cover the most common situations.

Landlords should be aware that the regulations do not contain all the fire safety requirements which their premises may be subject to. There are fire safety requirements under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Contact details

Email:
Post address:
Housing Standards Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Derby
DE1 2FS
Phone: 01332 640764
Minicom: 01332 640666
Housing Standards Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Derby
DE1 2FS

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