Disrepair in Privately Rented Housing
Many people in Swansea rent their homes from private landlords.
The majority of accommodation is of good quality, but some landlords do not fulfil their legal obligations by carrying out the regular maintenance and repairs that all properties need from time to time. The Council's Environment Department has a range of statutory powers that let us deal with this problem.
We use the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS or the Rating System) to assess disrepair and other hazards that may be present in residential accommodation. The rating system applies to premises occupied both by single households and Houses in Multiple Occupation. Any residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential vulnerable occupier or visitor.
Vulnerability for the purposes of the Rating System is based purely on age not on any other factors e.g. physical disability. The most vulnerable groups are the very young and the elderly. Where premises are not occupied by a tenant from a vulnerable group the Council can take this into consideration when deciding what enforcement action to take.
They will then look at the health effects of the fall on the occupant or visitor. If the staircase is particularly long or steep and the floor covering at the base of the stairs is a solid surface, such as a wooden floor, the chances of a severe injury are higher than falling down a short flight of stairs onto a carpet. Harm can therefore range from relatively minor bruising to a fatal injury.
Each inspection will result in a numerical score that will determine the course of action that the Council will take. If the score is above a certain level (a Category 1 hazard), the Council will have a legal obligation to take the appropriate enforcement action, even if the occupier does not want this. If an inspection identifies a hazard that results in a relatively low score (a Category 2 hazard), the Council has discretion over whether or not to take action.
Falls on stairs is just one of the 29 hazards that the Rating System uses. A complete list of hazards is available on the right.
In some cases the Council itself may take immediate remedial action to remove a hazard and recover and costs from the landlord. A typical example of this would be where a gas boiler was found to be imminently dangerous ie. producing carbon monoxide.
If you would like an officer to inspect your premises, or you simply require further advice, please contact the Department by using any of the methods listed on the right of this screen.
Important information for Council Tenants
If you rent a Council house, and want to report a repair, please contact the Housing Department's Repairs Contact Centre on (01792) 635100. This number should only be used to report repairs in Council houses.