Enforcement action against landlords

When landlords fail to fix an issue in a reasonable timescale, we may have to take formal enforcement action

The choice of the appropriate course of action is for the Private Sector Housing team to decide, having regard to statutory enforcement guidance.

What enforcement action can be taken?

Enforcement options are available under the Housing Act 2004:

  • serve an improvement notice requiring remedial works to be commenced and completed within a certain timescale
  • make a prohibition order, which closes the whole or part of a dwelling or restricts the number of permitted occupants
  • serve a suspended improvement notice or prohibition order (suspension would be until a certain date or event has passed)
  • take emergency action (where there is an imminent risk of serious harm occurring)
  • make a demolition order (these would be used in very extreme cases only)
  • declare a clearance area (where there are areas/streets of dilapidation or poor repair)

Formal vs. informal action

Informal approach

Whilst we will have no hesitation in taking formal action, it is often preferable to take an informal approach. 

If you are a landlord and you receive one of our letters, please contact us to talk through the issues.

We must stress that our primary aim is to help both tenants and landlords in resolving problems by using the informal approach.

There may be other ways to solve the issues which we may not have detailed in our letter, but we are open to discussion on alternatives to how to remedy the deficiencies and timescales can be negotiated.

Taking formal action

Where landlords repeatedly ignore correspondence or fail to remedy the deficiencies identified within a reasonable timescale, formal enforcement action will be taken.