Private sector standards and advice for tenants

Update COVID-19

The government passed legislation on 26 March 2020 that prevents eviction proceedings for a three-month period. Landlords have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession.

Meanwhile, landlords are protected by a three-month mortgage payment holiday where they have buy-to-let mortgage.

Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. A reasonable extension can be agreed for non-urgent repairs.

Please click here for the latest government advice for renters and landlords in the context of coronavirus.

If you are a renter and are experiencing issues paying your rent, discuss this with your landlord and also contact Housing Advice on (0191) 643 2520 or email: housing.advice@northtyneside.gov.uk

Alternatively you may wish to seek advice from Shelter or Citizens  Advice 

Landlord responsibility

North Tyneside Council is committed to improving housing standards and ensuring that properties within the private rented sector are well managed, free from hazards and safe for those who occupy them. Whilst the Council recognises that the majority of landlords operate in a legal and professional manner and work hard to ensure that their properties meet the required standards, there are some landlords that will fail to maintain their properties to a satisfactory standard.

The Government has introduced a number of recent measures to enhance the ability of local authorities to deal with rogue landlords, including the use of civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences.

North Tyneside Council has adopted a Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy which incorporates the wide range of tools and powers available to regulate private sector housing, including the use of civil penalties.

The landlord has a responsibility to:

  • make sure the property meets a minimum health and safety standard assessed in accordance with the Housing Health and Safety Rating Scheme
  • maintain a safe heating system and make sure all gas appliances (heating and cooking) are checked on an annual basis by a gas safe engineer *
  • maintain the electrical wiring and electrical appliances.  A copy of a satisfactory electrical installation condtion report must be provided no less than every 5 years.
  • make sure there are appropriate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in tenanted properties, in accordance with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England ) Regulations 2015

  * The health and safety executive are responsible for the enforcement of this requirement.

Related documents

Electrical Safety

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

To improve the safety standards of all private rented properties, the government has created electrical safety standard legislation to protect tenants and to ensure landlords maintain the electrics in their rented  properties in a  safe condition. The Regulations aim to reduce the risk of electrical shocks and fires caused by faulty electrics and to promote good landlords. 
From the 1st June 2020, all landlords must ensure new or renewed fixed term tenancies   issued on or after the 1st July 2020 have a valid electrical inspection condition report (EICR) for the fixed electrics in the rented property. 

Tenants moving into private rented properties or with new tenancy agreements should be provided with a copy of the  EICR report in advance. Prospective tenant can request a copy of the EICR report and landlords must provide the report within 28 days. From 1st April 2021 all private rented properties with fixed or periodic tenancies must have a EICR report. Tenants should be provided with a copy of inspection within 28 days and landlords must supply on request a copy to local authorities.

A new electrical inspection condition report will be required every five years unless the report states a different (shorter) interval. Equipment that forms part of the inspection and testing are those that are permanently connected, for example, light fittings, night storage heaters, showers, extractors etc.  Any remedial works or further investigations, if any, that are required will be outlined within the report.  Any C1 or C2 remedial works identified will mean that the report will have an unsatisfactory outcome and works will be required.

The maximum amount of time allowed for remedial works is 28 days, and the qualified person must then confirm in writing that the electrical standard is now met or that further investigation is required. 28 days is provided from the completion of the works for the tenant to be given a copy of the confirmation that the remedial works have been carried out.  A copy of this confirmation must also be provided to the local housing authority.

The local housing authority can take action against any landlord failing to comply with the regulations e.g. a failure by the landlord to provide a copy of the report or to carry out required works.  When a breach is identified the local authority are able to levy civil penalties. The maximum level of penalty is £30,000 per breach with multiple penalties being imposed.
Additionally, where remedial works are required and the landlord has not arranged for the works to be carried out, a remedial notice will be issued by the local housing authority. If the landlord fails to comply with the notice then the local housing authority can carry out any remedial action required and recover costs from the landlord.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Landlords must make sure that:

  • any property occupied by tenants must have a smoke alarm on each storey of the premises where this is living accommodation
  • a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in any living accommodation room that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance
  • they check alarms to make sure they are in working order before any new tenancy

Landlords  are under a duty to install and initially test alarms but it's the tenant’s responsibility to test them regularly.

The council must:

  • serve a remedial notice on the landlord when tenants aren't provided with appropriate smoke and carbon monoxide provisions within 21 days of determination (the remedial notice means appropriate alarms must be fitted within 28 days)
  • carry out the works if the landlord fails to meet the requirements of the remedial notice (the works can only be carried out by an authorised officer with the occupier's consent)

When there are reasonable grounds to think the landlord hasn't complied with the remedial notice we'll issue a penalty charge (see charges document below).

Related documents

Domestic gas safety

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, it's the landlord's responsibility to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues that tenants use are safe.

Landlords must :

  • make sure appliances are checked for safety at least every 12 months by Gas Safe registered engineers
  • give their tenants a safety check record

The Gas Registration Scheme in the UK is the Gas Safe Register, (this replaced CORGI). By law anyone who works with gas has to be registered with the Gas Safe Register and will have a registration card as proof of this.

If you smell gas:

  • turn off your gas supply straight away
  • find the lever next to your meter and move it one quarter of the way round, either right or left, until the gas stops
  • once the gas has been turned off, open the windows and doors to let plenty of fresh air in .
  • don't turn any electrical switches on or off, light matches or lighters, or smoke
  • ring the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 - they'll come to your home and make it safe

Visit the Gas Safe Register.

Seagull Advice Leaflet

The Local Authority often receive reports with regard to 'seagulls' causing nuisance from diving, swooping and general noise and fouling.  Please refer to the Seagull Advice Information lealfet for advice on how best to tackle the issues arising due to the proximity of gulls and people.

Related documents