Housing standards

The Council receives a range of complaints such as general disrepair and other tenancy related issues from privately rented tenants who live in Blackburn and Darwen.

Homes are inspected using the Housing 2004 Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) that comprises of 29 hazards including:

  • damp and mould growth
  • excess cold
  • personal hygiene
  • sanitation and drainage
  • pests
  • refuse.

These hazards are rated to give a hazard score.

Depending on the score, the hazard will fit into one of two (2) categories:

  • Category 1 hazard; or
  • Category 2 hazard

Category 1 hazards are the more severe hazards which require a rapid response.

In line with current national housing legislation, guidance and best practice the Council seeks to resolve issues informally without the need to take more legal action.

Privately rented property that has fallen into disrepair

You can make a complaint to your landlord or agent if your property requires repairs.

Your landlord has a legal duty to carry out repairs that are their responsibility.

If you wish to make a complaint about disrepair at your property, the following steps must be taken before the Council can help.

Notifying your landlord/agent

  • Firstly you must ensure that the repairs you are reporting to the landlord or agent are the landlord’s responsibility and not as a result of how you are living in the property.
  • You must notify your landlord or agent of any repairs that you believe need attention. This can be done by notifying your landlord or agent of repairs in writing.

You can use our disrepair letter template giving your landlord or agent a reasonable timescale (14 days) to contact you to arrange to carry out the repairs.

Sending your disrepair letter

If you are sending a disrepair letter to your landlord or agent:

  • you can hand deliver your letter your letter to the landlord or agent; or
  • send your letter by first class post asking the Post Office for ‘Proof of Postage receipt/certificate keeping it with your copy of the letter; or
  • Recorded delivery/ Registered Post keeping the receipt with your copy of the letter.

It is important that you keep a copy of the letter or email that you send to the landlord or agent as we will request to see this.

If your landlord or agent has not responded to your letter or email or carried out the repairs, then us on (01254) 585457 or by email to housingstandards@blackburn.gov.uk.

We can then arrange for someone to carry out an inspection of the property.

When contacting either by telephone or email, we need the following information from you:

  • your name
  • your address
  • a current telephone contact number
  • details of who lives at the property
  • name of your landlord or agent
  • address of your landlord or agent and telephone contact number if you have one
  • date your tenancy began; and
  • details of disrepair issues and their location

If you fail to provide all the information outlined above, be advised that there may be a delay in us being able to assist you with your complaint.

If you have not notified your landlord or agent we find it difficult to assist you with your complaint.

Please be aware that:

  • you have no legal protection as a result of your complaint
  • your landlord or agent will have to be made aware of the complaint concerning the alleged disrepair
  • We have a legal duty to notify your landlord or agent of any inspections that Housing Standards intend to carry out at the property
  • Our role is to help improve your current housing condition. We cannot assist you once you have vacated a property.
  • We have no bearing on any housing association application you may have
  • We are not able to assist in finding alternative living accommodation/housing or awarding priority for re-housing.