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Advice for tenants

What to expect

The property you rent must be free from health and safety hazards. Hazards are assessed using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), and you can find more information about these standards on the Shelter website. Common problems within the home include issues with damp and mould, poor insulation, problems with heating, or homes without smoke detectors.

If you rent in the private sector and your home is in poor condition, you need to contact your landlord first to try to sort out any problems before contacting us.

Condensation and mould growth

Condensation is caused when there is excess moisture and cold conditions, and black mould may be present. There is some useful information on Shelter’s website on how to keep your home free from damp and mould.

Reporting a private housing problem

If you have contacted your landlord or managing agent and you have given them a reasonable amount of time to resolve your issue but nothing has happened, you can report the problem to us. We can investigate the following problems:

  • poor housing conditions
  • disrepair
  • fire safety
  • no heating or hot water
  • damp and mould

We will also investigate concerns about houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

An officer may need to visit your home to carry out an inspection. There is a legal requirement that your landlord is given notice of such an inspection.

Please contact us by email tel no 01892 554241 if you are experiencing any housing problems.

Reporting a housing association problem

If you need to report a concern about a housing association property, you must contact them direct.

Letting fees and tenancy deposits

The Tenant Fees Act bans most letting fees and caps tenancy deposits paid by private rented sector tenants. It applies to new or renewed tenancy agreements signed on or after 1 June 2019. You will find useful information about this on the Tenant Fees Act page of GOV.UK.

The aim of the Act is to reduce the costs that tenants can face at the outset of and throughout a tenancy. Tenants will be able to see at a glance what a property will cost them in the advertised rent, with no hidden costs.

if you have a concern about letting fees being charged, or that tenancy deposits are higher than 5/6 weeks rent, please contact the Trading Standards team at Kent County Council via the CAB consumer helpline, who will provide advice and if necessary pass your complaint to the Trading Standards team.

More information

The GOV.UK website has useful information on privately renting a property including your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and your landlord’s responsibilities.

You may find our guide to finding accommodation helpful. It contains advice and information to help you find suitable accommodation within our area, and a brief overview of the various housing options that are available.