Housing management standards
We've set out some basic housing management standards which we expect private landlords and agents, as responsible operators, to adhere to. This is to ensure the comfort and safety of their tenants.
The standards, outlined below, are based on the principles of responsible letting in UK law.
They may not necessarily be the same as those applied by other organisations with an interest in the Private Rented Sector.
1. Electrical safety
A current and satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report on the electrical installation must be undertaken at recommended intervals, by an 'approved electrical contractor' and made available for inspection by the tenant and ourselves upon request. The Electrical Installation Condition Report must confirm that the installation is safe for use, as specified in BS 7671:2008.
Where appliances are provided, an annual Portable Electrical Appliances (PAT) Report must be issued by an 'approved electrical contractor' and be in accordance with the Institute of Electrical Engineers Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.
An 'approved electrical contractor' means one who is a member of one of the following organisations or registered with them as an authorised competent person: NICEIC, ECA, British Standards Institute, ELECSA Ltd or NAPIT Certification Ltd.
2. Gas safety
In accordance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (as amended), an annual gas safety check must be undertaken on all gas installations by a competent Gas Safe registered installer. The inspection report must be available for inspection upon request.
All furniture supplied with the tenancy must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and confirmation of this should be available upon request.
4. Tenancy agreement
All tenants should be provided with a written tenancy agreement detailing the terms and conditions on which they occupy the house. The landlord must ensure they act within the responsibilities contained within the agreement and carry out all landlord functions in a proper manner.
5. Energy performance
Landlords should provide new tenants with a copy of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property.
6. Anti-social behaviour
Landlords should adopt robust procedures for dealing with anti-social behaviour relating to their property and undertake to deal with any complaints, which have been made directly to them, via the Local Authority or Durham Constabulary.
Anti-social behaviour is any unsatisfactory behaviour caused by the occupier of the house or any visitors to the house that is deemed an annoyance or nuisance to people within the house or the local area.
7. Tenants' referencing
Landlords should obtain references for prospective tenants in order to make an informed decision about occupancy of their property. It is expected that landlords will have procedures in place and confirmation that references will be available to us on request.
8. Termination of Tenancy
Landlords should serve correct notices, in a written form, in a timely manner should they wish to terminate a tenancy for a legitimate reason. This should form part of the landlords housing management procedures.
9. Tenancy Deposit
Landlords must ensure that all new tenancy deposits are protected in a government authorised scheme within 30 days and provide the prescribed information to the tenant and any relevant person.
- Housing Solutions
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