Enforcement and Complaints
The Private Sector Housing Team (Historically Environmental Health Housing) have a duty to enforce housing related legislation in Powys.
Our aim is to protect individuals from harm and improve the local environment to positively influence quality of life for Powys citizens.
We aim to do this by :
- Working in collaboration with Rent Smart Wales
- Responding to rental housing complaints
- Licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO's)
- Bringing empty properties back into use
- Offering advice and financial assistance to owners
- Handling neighbourhood disputes involving :Pests,Dilapidation,Dampness, Drainage, Disrepair and Waste
Based in Brecon, Llandrindod Wells and Welshpool, the Private Sector Housing Team work to enforce and regulate relevant housing related legislation, improving properties and dealing with landlords.
Rent Smart Wales
From October 2015, the Welsh Government introduced a new Welsh scheme requiring landlords of all rented property, regardless of size, to hold a licence and pay a fee. For more details please visit - www.rentsmart.gov.wales
Responding to Rental Complaints
Landlords who rent properties need to maintain them in a safe standard and free from danger. If you feel your home falls below this standard, it may be in breach of the law and we can help. e.g. defective heating system.
Addressing Neighbour Disputes and Empty Properties
If you live next to a problem property causing issues through disrepair, damp or vermin, there are laws protecting you.
The council may be able to help.
Offering Advice and Assistance to Landlords
If you're a landlord seeking help or information about standards and obligations, the team will be happy to help. We may offer a free inspection or have financial packages that may interest you. e.g. Rental/fire safety advice and/or interest free loan options.
Licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation(HMOs)
A simple HMO definition is one that has three or more unrelated persons in occupation where facilities are shared. HMOs such as these need to comply with certain criteria and standards. The Housing Act 2004 also allows for HMOs to be inspected and if necessary be licenced under either mandatory or additional HMO Licensing Schemes with associated fees.
A 'mandatory' HMO is a three story building with five or more persons in occupation who share facilities. Local Authorities also have discretion to introduce additional licensing of other HMOs falling
outside the scope of mandatory licensing. These can include poorly converted self-contained flats. (Section 257 HMOs defined under the Housing Act).
If you're a tenant concerned about a HMO, or a landlord enquiring about standards, please contact us. Note: it is an offence to operate a Mandatory HMO or a HMO covered by an Additional HMO Licensing Scheme without a licence.
How the Team Functions
When Private Sector Housing receive a request, we attempt to resolve it informally by issuing advice or financial assistance to the property owner. This often involves an inspection of the property to assess any issues.
Our assessments may use the 'Housing Health and Safety Rating System' - a process to quantify likelihood of injury, or 'Statutory Nuisance' - a procedure to judge if a problem is 'prejudicial to health'. There is also legislation for dealing with specific problems such as drainage etc.
Should the offer of advice or financial assistance fail, or the matter is more serious, then enforcement options such as the service of a legal notice, or even prosecution may be considered. However, where possible, we aim to maintain existing tenancies while developing closer working relationships with landlords.