How do you assess conditions in rented properties?

Council Officers can be asked to visit a property by a tenant, an owner, or a neighbour. 

Our Officers can also visit during routine surveys of the district, when they suspect there maybe a hazard in the property.

Each officer of the Private Sector Housing Team has the authority to request access to a property when they believe a health and safety hazard exists.

What happens if the problem is serious?

Where a problem might be extremely serious, Private Sector Housing Officers have the power to gain access without the authorisation of the owner.

What happens in the inspection?

Our Officers will make a full inspection, looking at the whole of the living accommodation, the garden, access paths, and any areas shared with other properties or dwellings (such as the common hallway and stairs in a block of flats). 

The officer will record the faults found at the property that could lead to any of the hazards detailed in the Hazard Profiles table.

What is a fault?

A fault is identified as part of the property, such as the heating, which is in disrepair, poorly maintained or poorly designed.

What happens after the inspection?

Following the inspection, the officer will go back to the office and carry out an assessment of each hazard.   They will consider the likelihood of an accident happening and then consider the possible effect it could have on the health of a vulnerable person such as the elderly or very young.

How are hazards measured?

Each hazard is given a score, and then given a representative banding between A-J.

  • Any hazard falling within A and C is called a Category One hazard.
  • Any hazard falling within D and J is called a Category Two hazard.

Category One Hazards

The Council has a mandatory duty to deal with category one hazards. To deal with them an officer must respond by taking enforcement action, or by giving advice.

  • A category one hazard is considered to be serious, as a result it is more likely enforcement action would be taken to reduce the hazard.
  • A schedule of work would be identified. This will only be work that is needed to deal with the hazard and to help reduce the possibility of an accident occurring.

Category Two Hazards

  • The Council has a discretionary power to deal with category two hazards. This means they may give advice, or take enforcement action.
  • A schedule of work may be produced.  This will only identify work that is needed to deal with the hazard and will help to reduce the possibility of an accident or health effect occurring.

Thanet District Council has taken the decision to reduce all hazards as far as possible but will ensure the work required is proportionate.