All properties should be safe and suitable to be lived in and, if they are not, we can serve notices on a landlord requiring remedial works to be carried out. We can also help owner occupiers to improve their properties up to a decent standard.
If you are a tenant living in South Somerset, use this page for information and guidance.
Hazards to be aware of
Common hazards that tend to occur in and around a home include:
- Damp and mould growth
- Lack of, or inadequate heating - fixed heating systems should be able to maintain 19 degrees in habitable rooms when the outside temperature is -1.
- Lack of, or inadequate artificial or natural ventilation. For example, extractor fans and windows
- Carbon Monoxide - Properties where there are gas appliances and solid fuel appliances should have working carbon monoxide detectors. In some circumstances it is a legal requirement.
- Lead pipes
- Gas leak/explosions
- Overcrowding/lack of space
- Absence of locks/security devices
- Lighting, natural and artificial
- Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
- Water supply, adequate supply of hot and cold running water (Wessex Water / South West Water)
- Falls associated with baths and showers
- Slips, trips and falls on level floors
- Falling on stairs and steps
- Falling from height
- Burns, scalds, collisions, cuts and strains
- Electrical hazards
- Fire safety hazards, for example smoke and heat detectors and fire doors
- Structural collapse and falling items, for example roof tiles and ceilings
My home is in disrepair
If you are a tenant and your home is suffering from disrepair, follow these steps to get your landlord to carry out any necessary repairs:
- Put your complaint in writing to your landlord
- Give them reasonable time to arrange and complete any repairs. You should normally allow up to 4 weeks, but this is depends on the nature of the problem.
Use our letter template to help you.
If your landlord does not reply to you within the 4 weeks, contact us so that we can look into this for you.
Tenants now have the powers to take irresponsible landlords to court using the new law, Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, if you have signed a new tenancy agreement after 20 March 2019. If you signed your contract before this date you will have to wait until March 2020. Visit this link for further information on how to use the act.
If the disrepair is dangerous and you need to speak to someone, email email@example.com or contact us on 01935 462462 and ask for Environmental Health, Housing department.
Saving energy at home
To help save energy and money on your energy bills, follow these simple tips.
There are also a range of grants and schemes available:
- NEA Action for Warm Homes Advice Service
- Energy Saving Trust
- Centre for Sustainable Energy
- The Green Deal
- The Community Council for Somerset community oil buying scheme
- Advice on managing bills and switching your fuel supplier
In a direct response to the Climate Emergency, the District Council’s in Somerset have jointly signed a EcoFlex Statement, declaring their intent to improve energy efficiency in their areas.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) - is a requirement placed on energy companies over a certain size to help improve domestic energy performance of the homes of those vulnerable to the cold or on low incomes. In the ECO3 phase there is a new additional facility called Flexible Eligibility. This is where the Councils can set criteria to direct assistance towards local private sector homes at risk of fuel poverty, but falling outside of the normal rules of ECO (usually qualifying benefits).
Following broad guidance from the department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Councils can access Flexible Eligibility funds on the production of this Statement of Intent. This allows the Councils to set qualifying criteria to target local residents at risk of from fuel poverty. Residents meeting these agreed criteria, subject to the appropriate Council issuing a signed Declaration and a favourable survey report may be assumed eligible by Energy Companies for ECO funded energy efficiency improvements. The statement provides more information.
The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE)
One of our partners is CSE which is supported by South Somerset District Council and other Somerset Councils. The Home Energy Team at CSE provide free, impartial local advice about energy improvements, as well as help with improving heating, lowering fuel bills and receiving the correct benefits.
The CSE website has a wealth of information about all aspects of energy efficiency and improvements to your home, including availability of financial assistance.
To save energy, lower your fuel bills and keep your home warm, contact the Home Energy Team at the CSE.