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Enforcement and Regulatory Policy for Private Sector Housing

Addendum: Policy update - COVID 19

Following the COVID-19 outbreak the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has introduced non-statutory guidance for local authorities on enforcing standards in privately rented properties. This guidance and this addendum updating the Enforcement and Regulatory Policy for Private Sector Housing will form the basis of the Council's approach to delivering our service in the private sector during the COVID-19 outbreak.

There are currently no measures to prevent Local Authorities taking enforcement action in circumstances where there is a serious risk to health and safety. The Private Sector Housing team will continue to deal with the enforcement of standards in the private rented sector and respond to service requests concerning housing conditions that present health and safety risks.

At this time and until further notice, we will prioritise service requests to ensure the most serious risks are addressed and the Council's focus will be to ensure that the most vulnerable people are supported.

Where a service request or conditions are initially deemed to be low risk we will write to both tenants and landlords and monitor on a case by case basis. Where an informal approach has proven to been unsuccessful, this may mean escalating an individual case.

Visits and inspections will take place in relation to, urgent service requests, where service requests have been escalated and in relation to local initiatives where it is appropriate to do so.

The Council will continue to consider the use of enforcement powers, taking a pragmatic, approach to ensure tenants are kept safe and landlords are supported, basing all our decisions on an assessment of risk and in compliance with legislation.

We will continue to review this policy to meet Government advice and the changing needs caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.