Where did you hear about us?
The monthly magazine providing news analysis and professional research for the discerning private investor/landlord

Councils failing to inspect potentially hazardous housing

Private renters in England face a postcode lottery as data reveals that councils are failing to properly inspect properties with potential hazards. 

Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) local authorities can carry out inspections to identify hazards in rented properties following a complaint by a tenant. They can then compel the landlord to act where hazards are detected. 

Freedom of Information data obtained by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has found that between 2021 and 2023, just a third of complaints raised by renters were responded to with an HHSRS inspection. 

Half of all inspections conducted under the HHSRS were carried out by just 20 local authorities, while 16% of councils were unable to provide any inspection figures at all. 

In a worrying sign of poor recordkeeping, 37% of councils were unable to provide any housing tenure specific data related to tenant complaints. 

Where hazards are found following an inspection, councils have a range of enforcement options, including issuing an Improvement Notice to compel a landlord to rectify whatever problems are identified. Landlords are then prohibited from serving a section 21, ‘no-fault’ possession notice for six months. 

Despite this, between 2021 and 2023, just 7% of HHSRS inspections led to an Improvement Notice being served.

If you want to read more news subscribe