Skip to main content

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.

Dampness and mould growth

Dampness and mould growth are caused by too much moisture in your home, and there can be more than one reason for this, for example a leak in the roof and/or condensation. There is some useful advice on Shelter's website.

You should always contact your landlord first and explain the issues that you are experiencing.

Our action plan to tackle damp and mould

Following the tragic death of Awaab Ishak due to damp and mould, the Council was required by the Government to develop and publish an action plan. Our action plan is set out below and we will continue to monitor and review it.

AimHow we will deliverStatus

Provide information to private sector landlords regarding their responsibilities in respect of addressing damp  and mould.

Review the information available on our website to provide greater information to landlords informing them of their responsibilities to address damp and mould.

Attend and participate in the West Kent Landlord Forum to raise awareness of Joanne Kearsley’s, Senior Coroner for the Coroner area of Manchester North, findings in relation to the death of Awaab Ishak and inform private sector landlords and managing agents of their responsibilities in addressing mould  and damp.


Advice for landlords:

Advice for tenants:

West Kent Landlord Forum held in March 2023.

Review our Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy in relation to response to category 2  hazards.

Amend our Housing Enforcement Policy to give specific reference to enforcing against high scoring (bands D  & E) category 2 damp and mould hazards.

Review existing complaints of damp and mould in private rented properties

Review all existing complaints received where damp and mould has been stated as a concern, assess severity and ensure property inspections take place where necessary.

Review current enforcement action in relation to complaints of damp and mould, or whether these issues have been found, to ensure an appropriate level of enforcement is taking place.

Completed and a continual process

Each case is reviewed individually to ensure appropriate enforcement action is taken


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.

Usually housing associations will take action quickly to address a concern about your home. If you are not satisfied with their response and contact us, we will get in touch with them to make sure they are aware of the issue, and we will find out and monitor what actions they are taking. In addition, if you are not satisfied with the response from your housing association, you can follow their internal complaints process which you will find on their website.

Our approach to damp and mould complaints

We treat complaints of damp and mould in privately rented properties very seriously, and on receipt of a complaint we aim to make contact with the tenant within 48 hours to find out the extent of the damp and mould. We will always ask if the tenant has contacted their landlord, and the response received. We may require photos to assist with the initial assessment and all of this information enables us to prioritise inspections so that the most serious cases are always visited first.

On inspection, where damp and mould are found, the cause and extent will be assessed and we will act in accordance with our Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy to take the appropriate enforcement.

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.