Health and safety of properties

Landlords have certain health and safety responsibilities for their properties.  We may also inspect properties if a tenant makes a complaint.

Electrical safety standards

As a landlord, you must ensure fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person.

If you don’t provide tenants with an electrical safety report at the start of their tenancies, you will be in breach of the regulations and may face a civil penalty of up to a maximum of £30,000, with the potential for multiple penalties to be imposed for a continuing failure.

Damp, condensation and mould

You should know about the causes of damp, condensation and mould, what you are responsible for and how to deal with these issues if they come up.

Find out more: Landlords: damp, condensation or mould in properties


We have a duty to make sure that residents have safe and healthy homes to live in.  We will take enforcement action if essential repairs or maintenance to keep homes safe is not carried out. 

Property inspections

If a tenant makes a complaint about their home or their landlord, we will usually inspect the property. We use the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to identify what, if any, hazards exist and how serious these hazards are.

After an inspection, we will decide on what action is appropriate.  Possible outcomes are:

  • no further action – where, following an initial investigation, the complaint cannot be substantiated
  • informal action – written warnings and / or providing advice, is usually the first option if there is a problem and those involved are willing to co-operate
  • formal notices - we may issue formal notices, for example, to force a landlord to carry out repairs
  • 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
  • Civil Penalty Notices - we can serve a Civil Penalty Notice as an alternative to a prosecution with fines of up to £30,000
  • Rent Repayment Orders - in unlicensed HMOs, for example, tenants can apply to the Courts for a Rent Repayment Order. Up to a year’s rent can be claimed if the council has taken a prosecution case
  • Banning Orders - preventing a person from renting out premises can be applied for by the Council in specified cases

We will seek to resolve problems through informal action, wherever possible.

More information is available in our Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy.

More 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

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