Rented Property Conditions

Most landlords act in a responsible way and keep their properties in good condition. However a landlord will sometimes fail to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance and the property may fall into a state of disrepair. If you have concerns about the condition or management of your rented property the Environmental Health Team may be able to help. We can inspect your property to identify defects and require the landlord to make repairs and improvements to remove serious and immediate hazards. 

Tenant Complaints

I am a tenant - what am I responsible for?

Normally, your landlord is legally responsible for repairs to the structure of the building: the roof, windows, doors, drains, gutters, baths, sinks, toilets, heating, hot water, damp and general building repairs.

Usually smaller jobs such as replacing fuses, or clearing a blocked sink are your responsibility.

An infestation of insects, mice or rats etc may be your responsibility or the landlord's responsibility depending on the cause and if your tenancy/licence agreement defines responsibility

You must also repair damage that you or your visitors have caused. Check your tenancy agreement to see whether it requires you to notify the landlord.

What can I do if I have concerns about disrepair?

First contact your landlord and explain what your concerns are. If possible do this in writing and keep a copy of all communications. If your landlord does not repair the problem in a reasonable time, then you should contact the Environmental Health Team on 01283 508578 or

You will need to provide details of any disrepair that you are concerned with and we will ask for the details of your landlord, and/or letting agent along with the date that you made them aware of the disrepair. In most cases we will contact the landlord or letting agent for an update on what they have been doing to fix the problem. In some cases an officer will need to visit and do a formal inspection, if this is required then you and the landlord will be notified in advance of this visit. We will work with your landlord to fix the problem and may take formal action against them if they fail to make the necessary repairs.   

Please do not withhold any rent because of disrepair. If you do this and it results in eviction due to non payment then the Council is likely to conclude that you are homeless intentionally.

The landlord has threatened to evict me - what do I do?

A landlord can ask for their property back at anytime but must do so in the proper way so that they are not evicting you illegally. If the landlord threatens to evict you following your complaint please contact us immediately. This is called retaliatory eviction and is not a legal form of eviction, see eviction and harassment.

Other forms of assistance may be available through a solicitor or specialist legal mediation company. They can mediate between you and the landlord and help you to sue the landlord in court. The court can award damages and order repairs to be done. You will need evidence of the disrepair, your contacts with the landlord, and their failure to carry out the repairs. 

What does the Council do when it investigates a complaint about housing?

If you ask us to investigate we will need to visit and carry out a housing health and safety inspection of the property.

Our assessment will use the Housing Health and Safety Rating System that identifies high-risk (category one) hazards and lower-risk (category two) hazards. If any category one hazards are found the Council has a duty to take action. This action will be one of the following:

  • Hazard Awareness Notice - Formal notification of the problem to the landlord
  • Improvement Notice - Requires the landlord to take action
  • Prohibition Order - Stops all or part of the property from being used
  • Emergency action - When the Council takes emergency action to remove an imminent risk of serious harm
  • Demolition Order - Requires vacation and demolition of the property

In most cases we will either serve a Hazard Awareness Notice or an Improvement Notice.

Failure to comply with a notice or order could result in the Council completing the repair at the landlords cost, a fixed penalty charge of up to £30,000 and/or the landlord being prosecuted.

What is the Council doing about Damp and Mould in the Private Rented Sector?

In 2022 The Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) wrote to all local authorities in England asking them to review how they deal with damp and mould in rented homes and produce plans detailing how complaints will be dealt with.

Our response: 

East Staffordshire Borough Council is committed to improving the housing stock in the Borough to have a positive impact on the health, safety and welfare of residents.  The majority of the private rented sector is in reasonable condition and is well managed, however we are aware that there are still issues within the housing stock relating to condition and management that require intervention through enforcement action.

Damp and mould growth are known to have health implications, especially from prolonged exposure to mould. Young children and individuals with existing health conditions such as asthma or immunosuppression are particularly at risk. Landlords are expected to provide properties that are free from significant damp and mould. Mould growth is most typically associated with condensation damp which is caused by a combination of the structure of a property and how the occupant uses it. Properties need to be warm and well-ventilated to minimise the risk of condensation, and occupants need to use the heating and ventilation effectively. 

To address issues of damp and mould in private rented properties we will:

  • Investigate all complaints regarding damp and mould and work with landlords and tenants by providing advice, information and assistance to improve the standards of properties. Where this does not secure an improvement then formal action under the Housing Act 2004 and the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is considered and taken where required.
  • Proactively inspect all private rented properties within the designated Selective Licensing area and take enforcement action for non-compliance 
  • Raise awareness and encourage residents to apply for heating and insulation grants through Staffordshire Warmer Homes 
  • Provide fuel poverty advice through our Beat the Cold energy advice service 
  • Ensure our website is up to date with information on damp and mould and provide information leaflets for tenants and landlords
  • Continue to target, monitor and improve housing conditions through stock condition surveys and review of housing conditions. 
  • Continue to regularly review policies and procedures relating to the investigation of damp and mould complaints.