Housing standards

We have responsibility for the condition of all types of housing in the district. These responsibilities are set out in government legislation and guidance.


We risk assess homes using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The most common hazards are:

  • Excess cold
  • Damp
  • Falls in and around the home.

The most serious hazards are classified as Category 1 hazards and less serious hazards are classified as Category 2 hazards. We must take enforcement action to address:

  • Category 1 hazards in residential premises
  • Statutory nuisance
  • Licensing of certain categories of houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

We also have discretionary powers to deal with:

  • Category 2 hazards in residential premises
  • Overcrowding
  • Unsatisfactory standards of management in all houses in multiple occupation whether licensed or not
  • Empty or abandoned premises
  • Rodent infestations
  • Restoration of gas and electricity supplies
  • Harassment or illegal evictions

Ignoring notices or orders can lead to prosecution and penalties using our enforcement powers. We can also carry out work in default to get jobs done.

Are you a private tenant living in a property that is unsafe or in disrepair? Contact our Private Sector Housing Team on 0300 126 7000 or email us at pshousing.snc@westnorthants.gov.uk.

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

If you live in a private or social rented house or flat and have a tenancy of less than seven years, you may be able to take action against irresponsible landlords under the new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act.

The Act will allow tenants to seek alternative redress through the courts if the property presents a risk of harm to health and safety of the occupiers, meaning the tenant can hold the landlord to account without our involvement.

If the court decides that your landlord has not provided you with a home that is fit for habitation, then they can make your landlord:

  • do the necessary works to improve your home
  • pay you compensation

Where landlords fail to carry out their repairing or management duties you should still contact us if you’re worried about conditions in your home. We have powers to take action on your behalf, at no cost to you.