Borough Council of Wellingborough

Virtual Development Committee Monday 18 January 2021

The meeting will take place virtually from 7pm. Members of the public will be able to view the meeting live from 7pm using Microsoft Teams.

View the meeting

Private Sector Housing

Home condition, Improvement and Grants

How to contact Private Sector Housing during Coronavirus

Landord Repairs/HMO Advice

  • Landlord still have legal obligations to complete essential works.  If you need access for a repair, landlords should make a judgement on the urgency of the situation. If an urgent repair is identified then you may enter the property with permission of the tenant. You and any contractors present should not be symptomatic and all guidelines on social distancing and hand washing must be observed while working. Gas safety inspections are classed as essential works and should be undertaken provided everyone follows advice on social distancing. Gas safety certificates can be obtained up to two months prior to the expiration of the existing one. Landlords are encouraged to start trying to arrange an inspection as early as possible. If the tenant refuses entry this should be documented.

  • Those who live in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) where individuals share amenities it is important that anyone self-isolating follows Government's advice, to minimise the risk of infecting others. Tenants should inform housemates if they are self-isolating or have become ill as the whole household will need to self-isolate.

  • Updated government guidance on COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities

  • Tenants and Landlords: Eviction Advice

Complaints

  • Private Sector Housing are responding to complaints over the phone or by email. We will require tenants to provide information and provide photographic/other evidence of their problem. Tenants first should contact their landlord or agent to discuss the situation so the landlord/agent can decide if the works are essential. We are currently only undertaking visits to complaints which pose an imminent risk to the health and safety to the tenant.

Housing Grants

  • At the current time during Covid-19 lockdown the council is still able to accept application forms, associated paperwork and enquiries for Disabled Facilities and other housing grants.  To reduce the risk of infection where possible via email to privatesectorhousing@wellingborough.gov.uk or by post.

    Case preparation is ongoing. Unfortunately due to social distancing restrictions contractors are not able to visit properties for survey, pricing or construction work.  Clients will be contacted to arrange these when the restrictions are lifted.

    Visits by council officers are restricted to essential or urgent matters.

Private Sector Housing provides advice and assistance to private sector residents, and private landlords.

We provide financial assistance in the form of grants for owners to carry out repairs, or carry out Disabled Adaptations.

We enforce standards in privately rented properties including Houses in Multiple Occupation and also conduct Housing Fitness Reports for immigration purposes.

We offer energy efficiency advice including the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 (HECA) reportNorthants Warm Homes is a collaboration between the eight Northamptonshire district, borough, and county, councils and aims to help residents of Northamptonshire to reduce their energy bills, reduce fuel poverty and lower their carbon emissions. The NWHP has published a Joint Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent to help households cut their energy bills and reduce carbon emissions

The Private Sector Housing Policy sets out the council's position regarding provision of information, advice and support to homeowners, tenants of private rented properties and private landlords regarding the repair, improvement and adaptation of their property. The Civil Penalty Notices under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 policy explains the council's approach to serving Civil Penalties for certain housing related offences.

In order to reduce the number of Empty Properties in the borough, the council works proactively to identify these properties and work with the owners to bring the properties back into use. In some circumstances, the council will seek to take enforcement action, including compulsory purchase action. The Compulsory Purchase Order Procedure sets out the process which the council will follow when taking action regarding empty properties.

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