Reporting disrepair in private rented properties

Private Housing Standards work to ensure that private residential properties in Sheffield are safe and free from hazards. We investigate issues in privately rented properties, licensable and non-licensable HMOs, and privately rented student accommodation.

Before we are able to look into your case we usually require you to have written to your landlord to tell them about the problems. This can be done in a letter or email. If you have only raised the concerns verbally or in a text this may not be sufficient.

It is important to ensure that the landlord is fully aware of all the concerns you have and that they have had reasonable time to respond.

Writing to your landlord may also help, as in some circumstances, it can give you protection against eviction for up to 6 months.

You should be aware of your tenancy rights before making a complaint. We can discuss any concerns that you may have. Information about your rights can be found on our Tenancy law and rights advice for tenants page. 

Winter months

Please note during busy times, in the winter months where we are dealing with a high number of critical cases, the initial inspection and investigation period could be up to 3 weeks.

Reporting your problems to us

Once you have written to your landlord, and a reasonable amount of time has passed without an adequate response, we can then look at your case. In most cases between 7 to 10 working days would be sufficient time to allow a landlord to respond.  

You can report problems via the options in the Contact section of this page. We will usually require your name, contact details, address and a brief description of the issues that you are experiencing.

It is useful to provide photos of the issues, this is especially relevant when reporting concerns relating to mould and damp.

Concerns on behalf of a tenant

If you are reporting concerns on behalf of a tenant/homeowner, or if you believe your case is urgent, eg concerns around electrics or no heating in very cold weather, then please contact us via phone.

Health and safety hazards

If we have reason to think that a health or safety hazard exists  in a  property, we will carry out an inspection in accordance with the method set out in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System Regulations (HHSRS).  

Damp and mould

One of the most frequent areas we get complaints about is about the HHSRS hazard of damp and mould.

However, it is a hazard that is very visible and when present can have serious effects upon the health of the occupiers.

Some of the complaints we get about mould are as a result of the tenant's lifestyle but others are a combination of lifestyle and inadequate heating, insulation and ventilation. 

Download our leaflet which explains about the balance of heating, insulation, ventilation and moisture production and gives advice upon treatment of mould.  It also gives guidance about when it may be the landlord's or the tenant's responsibility.

What happens next

We may choose to discuss the issues verbally with your landlord with the aim of them investigating and remedying the concerns. Where it is not appropriate to take this course of action, we will look to arrange a full property inspection under Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) guidelines. A full assessment of the property will be undertaken to ensure that it is free from hazards and we will take the appropriate enforcement action where necessary. 

In some situations the concerns you raise may fall outside the remit of our enforcement role and as such we have limited or no powers to investigate further.

Enforcement

We have enforcement powers available to ensure that private rented properties are safe and free from hazards. In most cases where issues are identified, we will look to resolve them informally with your landlord, allowing a reasonable amount of time for repairs to be undertaken. Where required, formal enforcement notices may be issued which legally require your landlord to carry out the required works. Failure to comply with such notice could lead to fines or prosecution.

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