Information and advice for private landlords and tenants
We have provided some information for general guidance on private rented accommodation in Barrow. In most cases, this will direct you to other websites containing relevant information provided by other agencies.Housing Act 2004
Housing Act 2004 - Important information for all Landlords, Letting Agents and Tenants and Owners.
In 2006 there were some major changes affecting private renting and empty dwellings arising from the Housing Act 2004.
The important provisions of this Act are:
Part 1: Housing Health and Safety A new Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)helps councils target the worst condition properties, often housing some of the most vulnerable people. More detailed guidancefor landlords is also available.
Part 2: Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) Improves controls on HMOs, including a mandatory national licensing scheme to raise the standards of some of the highest risk properties with some of the most vulnerable people, whilst maintaining an adequate supply of rented accommodation. Find out more about HMOs.
Part 3: Selective Licensing Gives powers to councils to ensure landlords take greater responsibility for the management of their property and deal with anti-social behaviour.
Part 4: Empty Homes Enables councils to bring back into use long-term private sector homes with the use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs).
Part 6: Tenancy Deposit Protection If landlords, or their agents, require tenancy deposits then those deposits are now safeguarded by a Government sponsored scheme.
Part 7: Residential Property Tribunal Offers more expertise on housing matters than county courts and gives local authorities and landlords easier access to the appeal process.
You can download the full text of the Act here
Barrow Borough Council manages most of this legislation through the Private Housing Team.
The Private Housing Team can be contacted at:
Tel 01229 876543
Fax 01229 876411
E mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about the legislation is available on a number of websites. See the sections further down this page.
Remember, if you are a landlord or a tenant in Barrow, these regulations will affect your property to some degree or other
Landlords Associations and Cumbria Landlord Accreditation Scheme (CLAS)
We ask landlords to consider joining one of the landlords' associations which operate nationally and regionally. Their details may be found on the Internet. For a relatively small fee, landlords can access a variety of services. Most charge an annual membership fee and you may, as a member, be able to get access to information, news, legal advice, prescribed forms and training.
Barrow Borough Council, together with South Lakeland District Council, Eden District Council, Allerdale Borough Council and Carlisle City Council, support Cumbria Accredited Landlords Scheme (CLAS), which is operated through the National Landlords Association (NLA). More details on CLAS are available on the attached leafletand guidance note, or through the NLA website.
Further information for landlords and tenants
Tenants requiring specific advice should contact their own solicitor or the Citizen's Advice Bureau or Shelter.
If you need any further help or advice, please call (01229) 876543 or email email@example.com
This link provides general advice on private renting and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.
This link provides more specific advice on tenancy agreements.
The Government has also produced a "how to rent" checklist of general advice for people considering renting in the private sector. This can be downloaded here - How to Rent
If a landlords takes a deposit, then it must be protected in an approved tenancy deposit scheme. This linkgives more details.
Landlords or tenants may consider arranging free home safety checks through Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, who will in certain circumstances fit free smoke alarms.
If you are vulnerable, have a physical or learning disability or are from a black or minority ethnic background and feel that you require independent advocacy, you may be able to get support and help from Best Life, who have an office and staff in Barrow.
The Residential Landlords' Association (RLA) has produced a "Safe and Secure" Home Guidefor landlords. This highlights the most common hazards that tend to be present in the home, and how to deal with them. The RLA has also produced a Guide for Tenants renting a property.
Landlords in England must now check that prospective tenants have the legal right to rent residential property. The GOV.UK web site has further details on how to check your tenants' right to rent.
Information which is of interest to those renting out or living in multi occupied properties; for example flats, bedsits and dwellings which share a building with a commercial use.
Information about Houses in Multiple Occupation. (pdf 46kb)
You may find more useful information from the sources below:
Health and Safety Executive. This includes free leaflets about a number of relevant matters including landlord's gas safety obligations, asbestos and electrical appliances and installations.
Streetsafe. If you want to find out what's going on locally to tackle anti social behaviour then visit the Streetsafe web site.
Trade waste and recycling. Some waste from houses you rent out is classed as trade waste, for example the things you clear out when a tenancy changes or you redecorate. You cannot just put this in the wheelie bin and you must ensure you or any contractor you employ disposes of it properly and that the correct paperwork is available for inspection. More general advice on rubbish collection can be found here.
GOV.UK - public services all in one place. Many rented homes in Barrow are considered to be of high risk due to poor thermal efficiency and landlords are required to improve thermal efficiency by installing insulation. More information can be found on our Energy Advice page.