Private Sector Housing Policies

Compliance with Housing Standards

Have your say

East Cambridgeshire District Council is seeking the views of all members of the public on its revision to the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy, but would particularly like to hear from anyone who rents privately, and from landlords letting agents, and landlord/tenant associations.

The policy seeks to provide clear guidance for landlords and agents about their responsibilities for providing safe homes, identifying how the Council will work with them to achieve this. It aims to raise the standards in the private housing sector, ensuring professionally managed and well-maintained homes are available to rent, targeting those who deliberately or persistently fail to meet their obligations. 

The Council welcomes all contributions to the public consultation exercise, which will run until 15 August 2022.

 The draft policy includes the following changes:

  • Updates to the calculation for the issuing of civil penalty notices, which allow financial penalties, up to a maximum of £30,000, to be imposed on landlords as an alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences.
  • The addition of electrical safety regulations, including financial penalties for non-compliance.
  • How the Council intends to regulate relevant private rented properties that do not have an Energy Performance Certificate, or that fail to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards. 
  • How the Council intends to regulate against letting agents and property managers who are not members of an approved or designated Redress Scheme.

Councillor Julia Huffer, Chair of Operational Services Committees, said "Everyone has the right to live in a home that is free from serious health and safety hazards. Our aim is to raise standards in Private Sector Housing throughout East Cambridgeshire, working with owners, landlords, letting agents and tenants to achieve this. Your feedback will help the Council to ensure that its policies continue to promote the wellbeing of residents, provide clear guidance for landlords and agents about their responsibilities for providing safe homes, and have the power to fine or prosecute anyone who falls short of those conditions".

How to get involved

Please read the new draft policy and answer the questions and provide any further comments via the housing enforcement survey.

Housing Enforcement Policy 2019 

The condition of the house we live in has a severe impact on our health and wellbeing. As a Council, we need to ensure that where appropriate, enforcement action is taken where landlords are reluctant to maintain properties to a satisfactory standard.

The Policy has been revised to include new and amended legislation. It sets out the Council’s approach to enforcement and is designed to be both fair to responsible landlords but to also deal effectively with non-compliant or rogue landlords to maintain and improve housing conditions within East Cambridgeshire.

Housing Adaptation and Repairs Policy 2019

This Housing Adaptations & Repairs Policy applies to those living in Cambridgeshire (not including Peterborough), and highlights the importance that housing can play in promoting physical and mental health and wellbeing. 
 
This policy outlines the interventions which the 5 district councils in Cambridgeshire have agreed may be funded through the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) Capital Allocation paid to them through the Department of Health’s Better Care Fund, and aims to provide a consistent approach across the county.
 
The key objectives of the Policy are:
• To support healthy, safe and independent living;
• To help prevent hospital, care home or residential school admission;
• To facilitate a patient being discharged from hospital and enabling them to live safely and independently at home, including making it easier for carers to provide support;
• To prevent the need for higher expenditure elsewhere in the health and/or social care system;
• To improve housing conditions and remove hazards in the home (i.e. Category 1 hazards under the Health & Safety Rating System).

Private Sector Housing Model Report 2021 and 2015

East Cambridgeshire District Council commissioned the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to undertake a series of modelling exercises on their housing stock. The detailed housing stock information provided in these reports will facilitate the delivery of East Cambridgeshire's housing strategies and enable a targeted intervention approach to improve housing.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

The Council also commissioned a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) which is provided in a separate report. This draws on evidence of the health impacts of hazards identified using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The report shows the link between poor health and poor housing along with the estimated costs of poor housing to the NHS and society as a whole.

Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy 2015

Private Sector House Condition Survey 2009

The Council carried out a Private Sector House Condition Survey in the autumn of 2009. Information on the condition of the stock, its location and occupation is essential for the development of effective private sector renewal strategies. The House Condition Survey does not by itself deliver an effective strategy. But it can provide a basis for determining:

  • the nature and extent of problems in the private sector stock;
  • the levels of investment required to tackle them;
  • priorities for action and;
  • the effectiveness of decisions already taken and expenditure already committed.

The full results of the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey 2009 are as follows. The results of the survey will be used to influence the Councils Housing Grants Policy and the Housing Strategy.

The update to the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy

The Council is seeking the public’s views on how it will use its enforcement powers to address unsafe and substandard housing in the District, with particular reference to those in the private rented sector. Since development of the previous Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy changes to legislation have occurred, for which financial penalties can be applied as an alternative to prosecution. The penalty structure has also been updated for certain existing housing offences. The Council welcomes all contributions to the public consultation exercise, which will run until 15th August 2022. The authority would particularly like to hear from private sector tenants, private landlords, lettings agents and landlord and tenant associations. The aim of the policy is to allow the consistent and fair enforcement of housing legislation to raise standards in the private housing sector and tackle those renting substandard and unsafe accommodation.

The draft policy includes the following changes:

  • Updates to the calculation for the issuing of civil penalty notices, which allow financial penalties, up to a maximum of £30,000, to be imposed on landlords as an alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences.
  • The addition within the policy of electrical safety regulations, including financial penalties for non-compliance.
  • How the Council intends to regulate relevant private rented properties that do not have an Energy Performance Certificate, or that fail to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards.
  • How the Council intends to regulate against letting agents and property managers who are not members of an approved or designated Redress Scheme.

Quote from Julia Huffer, Chair of Operational Services Committee: " Everyone has the right to live in a home that is free from serious health and safety hazards. Your feedback will help the Council to ensure that its policies continue to promote the wellbeing of residents, whilst targeting those landlords and agents who ignore their responsibility to provide safe homes.”

How to get involved

The existing and the new draft policy can be found here:

Please answer the questions and provide any further comments you may wish to make via the survey link: housing enforcement survey.