Advice for private sector landlords

Private Sector Landlords’ Forum

The Council recognises the importance of the private sector in delivering one part of the local housing mix in Elmbridge.

The last Elmbridge Private Sector Landlords’ Forum met in summer 2018 and the next one is planned for spring 2019.

The forum gives private sector landlords the chance to meet, network and discuss current issues. With the arrival of Universal Credit, the expansion of HMO licensing, grants and loans to bring empty properties back into use, and the Council's new enforcement policy, there is always valuable information to help private landlords.

For information on Universal Credit please see the Understanding Universal Credit site, which gives top tips for landlords.

Private rented sector news

We provide email bulletins for landlords, property managers and letting agents to update on the latest national and local news in relation to the private-rented sector. 

June 2018 is the most recent edition of Private Rented Sector News.    

If you would like to be receive these please contact us.

Rights and responsibilities

As a private sector landlord, you have both rights and responsibilities, here are some useful guides: 

Housing conditions in the private rented sector

The Council is the authority for regulating housing and public health conditions in the local area.  We have a duty to make sure that residents have safe and healthy homes to live in.  We will take enforcement action against people who own, live in, or rent homes, as necessary.  Action is most commonly against landlords, usually following complaints by tenants.

Failure to carry out essential repairs or maintenance to keep homes decent and safe can result in action by us.

Property inspections and possible action

When a tenant makes a complaint about their home or landlord this usually results in a visit by us, during which we use the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to identify any hazards and their seriousness.

There are six possible outcomes of an inspection visit:

  • No further action – where the complaint cannot be substantiated

  • Informal action – written warnings and / or advice; usually the first option where those involved are willing to co-operate

  • Formal notices - for example, to force a private sector landlord to carry out essential repairs / works

  • Works in default – where essential works are not carried out the Council can do the work to ensure the property is safe, and then recover the costs from the landlord, but this doesn't stop a prosecution, if also warranted

  • Cautions / interviews under caution – if we issue a simple caution, but this is ignored by the alleged offender, we will review the case and decide if other action is required

  • Prosecution – before starting any prosecution proceedings, we must be satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to prosecute.

Where appropriate, we seek to resolve problems through agreement and informal action, with each case considered on its merits measured against the principles set out in our Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy.

How we can help

 We can give you free advice to private sector landlords, including:

Further information

If you are a private sector landlord, or tenant, in Elmbridge and want further information or advice on property standards and our service, please contact us.

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