The council is committed to making sure that all homes in the borough, including ones that are rented in the private sector, are of a decent standard. Where housing conditions don't meet minimum legal standards the Private Sector Housing Team (PSH) will work with landlords, using enforcement action where necessary, to ensure these standards are met.
What should I do if I'm a private tenant with problems with the condition of my home?
Where tenants are having problems with their accommodation, we advise them to contact their landlord in the first instance to give him/her a chance to try and sort the problems out. If this is not possible or an appropriate response is not forthcoming the council's PSH can be asked to investigate and to take enforcement action if that is found to be necessary.
What does the private sector housing team deal with?
A few aspects of the types of issues that the PSH can assist with are:
- complaints from residents in private sector housing relating to disrepair, health and safety issues, and statutory nuisances
- dampness including condensation
- defective heating and insulation
- collapsed ceilings and roof leaks
- defective electrical installations
- defective sinks, baths, WCs and other sanitary facilities
- defective cooking and food preparation facilities
- disconnection of water, gas, or electricity where the landlord/agent is in arrears
- miscellaneous issues for example inspections to assess the suitability of properties for immigration purposes.
For more information see attached downloads for landlords and tenants, phone 020 8359 7995 or email.
Our standards for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) deal with:
- number of occupants and room sizes
- numbers of kitchens
- numbers of bathrooms and WCs
- fire safety.
See download for full details.
Role of the council
If you are a freeholder, leaseholder or private tenant we can advise, support and in some cases take action where the health and safety of your living environment is threatened. We can help to improve and maintain standards through:
- advice to tenants, landlords and owners
- encouraging good management practices
- advice on and enforcement of national and local housing standards.
The council have a legal responsibility to ensure that proper standards are reached and maintained.
Where we judge that informal action is appropriate that will be our first response, but formal action (in the form of statutory notices and prosecution) is sometimes necessary and is used.
The PSH cannot deal with cases involving the Council's own housing. These should be raised with Barnet Homes directly.
When we inspect privately rented properties they check that the landlord complies with their responsibilities under Gas Safety legislation. The legislation is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive and requires, among other matters, that all gas appliances are checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and a copy of the certificate provided to the tenant. You can find a suitably qualified engineer on the Gas Safe website.
The London Landlord Accreditation Scheme
The Government is promoting landlord accreditation schemes as an effective means of improving the private rented sector for the benefit of all. The LLAS is a pan-London scheme, launched in 2004. The scheme is an initiative to raise standards and recognise good practice in the private rented market. It is a partnership between the private rented sector, 33 local authorities, landlord associations, tenant groups, universities and health authority accommodation units.
The overall aim of the accreditation scheme is to improve the condition and operation of the rented market and reduce the need for intervention by partner councils. It also enables tenants to recognise private landlords and agents who are committed to providing good quality accommodation.
The London Landlord Accreditation Scheme recognises good landlords across the whole of London and the UK and provides landlords with the necessary skills to run a successful business. Irrespective of whether they are new to the business or are already running a successful portfolio, to be accredited under the LLAS will assist your business and give you access to many useful services and benefits. The LLAS also accredits agents and applies to individuals, partnerships and limited companies.
What if I am not happy with the service?
If you have a complaint about the service that you have received from the Private Sector Housing Team you should contact the Private Sector Housing Managers on 020 8359 7995 (Belinda Livesey Thursdays and Fridays or Lisa Morrow Mondays and Tuesdays).