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Report a bad landlord, housing conditions or get advice

Report a bad landlord or poor housing conditions

We're always working to improve housing conditions in Plymouth. Most landlords are responsible and honest.

We want to know about landlords who:

  • don't respect tenants' rights
  • fail to carry out essential repairs
  • fail to provide clean, safe accommodation.

All information will be confidential, we won't talk about it with anyone else unless we have your permission or there is a legal need to do so.

We will work with everyone first, but if needed we will use our enforcement powers.

GOV.UK has information and advice for leaseholders.

Property problems

You need to give your landlord an opportunity to fix any issues.

Send a letter or email to the landlord and give them the chance to resolve your concerns.

If your landlord uses an agent you should send the agent a copy of your letter or email. Your tenancy agreement should have an address for your landlord.  

Give your landlord 14 days to respond. Keep copies of any letters or emails you send.

Damp and mould

Read our guide on how to prevent damp and mould:

Visit the Plymouth Energy Community website for advice and information on healthy homes. Watch the video on how to prevent damp and mould.

Housing disrepair and improvements

We support people facing issues affecting health and safety in their home.

We aim to make sure that all housing within the private sector is:

  • in a good state of repair
  • decent
  • safe for the people to live in

We deal with concerns such as:

  • inadequate heating
  • fire safety
  • inadequate kitchen and bathroom facilities
  • overcrowding
  • risk from slips, trips and falls

Housing improvement service request

You will need to provide a copy of your letter or email to the landlord advising of the concerns. Include any response from your landlord or letting agent.

We recommend you continue to work with your landlord to try to resolve concerns. 

If you have any pictures of the problems such as mould, send these with your request.

Completing a service request gives us permission to contact your landlord or agent.

Requests that are about health and safety are looked at first.

How we deal with poor housing conditions

We work with landlords, tenants, leaseholders and owners to improve housing conditions. If conditions don't improve we have the power to:

  • enter a property for inspection (by force if needed)
  • demand information
  • serve notices requiring improvement
  • enter a property and undertake work
  • take over management of properties
  • close a property
  • demand demolition of a property
  • issue hazard awareness notices

Social housing

People living in social housing have increased protection. You should follow the provider's process for raising any concerns/requests.

If you are not happy with the response, you should use the provider's complaints procedure. If you continue to receive an unsatisfactory response you can raise this with the social housing ombudsmen.

How to raise a social housing complaint.

Private rented with Agent/Manager

If the agent or manager of the property Where there is an agent /manager, who is not the owner, they are legally required to belong to a redress scheme. This information should be available on their website or can be requested from them. The redress scheme is an independent party. If you feel the service that a scheme member has provided falls short of what is expected, you should consider making a complaint to the relevant scheme. The approved schemes are:

If your agent/manager is not in a redress scheme this should be referred to Trading Standards.

Give your landlord 14 days to respond. Keep copies of any letters or emails you send and recieve.

Tenants' rights

If you're renting private accommodation your landlord must:

  • provide you with a copy of 'How to rent: The checklist for renting in England'
  • provide you with a copy of the gas safety certificate for any gas fittings
  • provide you with a copy of the energy performance certificate
  • provide you with information on the tenancy deposit scheme
  • test the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • ensure all electrical wiring and appliances are in a safe condition
  • ensure the building and any common areas are in good order and properly managed

GOV.UK has useful advice and information on:

As a tenant you have the right to:

  • a fair legal tenancy agreement
  • live in a property that's safe, in a good state and clean at the start of the tenancy
  • have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends (unless there are reasonable grounds for keeping this back)
  • a written agreement if you've a fixed-term tenancy of more than three years
  • challenge excessively high rent charges
  • know who your landlord is
  • privacy and be able to live in the property undisturbed
  • fair eviction notice
  • 24 hours' notice (at a reasonable time) to access the property
  • gas checks every 12 months
  • a rent book (if the rent is paid weekly)

In return you must:

  • give your landlord access to the property for inspections and repairs
  • take good care of the property
  • repair or pay for any damage you caused
  • report any problems with the property
  • pay the agreed rent, even if repairs are needed or you're in dispute
  • pay other agreed charges
  • only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement allows
  • be considerate to neighbours

The Shelter website gives information on tenants' rights and general housing issues. The local Shelter office can also offer you advice on disrepair, homelessness and tenancy issues.