If you rent privately, or are planning to rent privately, then it is important to know your rights and responsibilities, as well as knowing the responsibilities of your landlord and any letting agent or property manager.
Guidance on Renting
- Our Top Ten Hazards page provides factsheets about the most commonly encountered hazards in the home.
- Electrical Safety First website - provides information for tenants on staying safe in their home. There are some simple Visual Checks you can do yourself.
- Fire Safety in the Home - Essex County Fire and Rescue Service provides a variety of information on home safety.
- Renting a Safe Home: a Guide for Tenants - This Government guide provides information for private renters on how to rent a safe home.
What to do if you have concerns about your rented home
- If you are concerned that your rented home does not meet the required housing standards, you should in the first instance contact your landlord or managing agent. We recommend that you use our Tenant Toolkit which provides letter templates and guidance to help you and your landlord/managing agent resolve your concerns.
- Since October 2014 letting agents and property managers must, by law, join a Government approved Property Redress Scheme (PRS). This means that tenants, prospective tenants and landlords in the private rented sector can complain to an independent person about poor service from letting agents and property managers.
Protection from Eviction
You are entitled to raise concerns about your rented home with your landlord or property manager and to expect a professional response.
Some tenants worry that it they ask their landlord to deal with a problem they may be asked to leave. Most landlords will not do this and would, in fact, prefer to know about the problem. However, if your landlord does threaten to end your tenancy, or takes any other unwanted action as a result of you raising the problem then you should contact us immediately.
Since October 2015 new tenancies have additional protection from eviction where the advice in our Tenant Toolkit is followed.
Other Sources of Advice
- Colchester Borough Homes provides advice on housing options.
- Shelter is a housing and homeless charity that provide free housing advice. Shelter has a Colchester office.
- Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) also provide free advice and information on how to go about renting or buying a home or just finding somewhere to live. You can also find advice on handling problems with your landlord and help to avoid losing your home.
- The Housing Rights website provides help to migrants and their advisers about access to housing and housing benefit. The aim is to guide migrants and their advisers on access to the PRS, problems they may encounter, how to exercise their rights, access to LHA, the checks that will be imposed by the Immigration Act, etc. It will be of particular benefit to recent migrants who are often forced into poorer parts of the sector and are unaware of their rights and find it difficult to access advice services.
Still Worried about your Private Rented Home?
If you have raised concerns with your landlord or managing agent in writing but remain worried about the condition of your private rented home then please contact our Private Sector Housing team.
Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities in the Private Rented Sector
A document has been produced and is available here to help both landlords and tenants. It sets out the roles and responsibilities of both parties when letting or renting a property in the private rented sector.
Contact Private Sector Housing
If you have a complaint about the condition of your property you can contact the Private Sector Housing team. Opening hours Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm (excluding public holidays). Please note: Colchester Borough Council is committed to Customer Excellence and may record your call.
Fill in and submit our Private Sector Housing Advice/Complaint form
Email us at: email@example.com
Telephone us on 01206 282581 Textphone users should dial 18001 01206 282581
Please help us to help you.
Provide us with as much information as you can and always give your name, address and a telephone number (if you have one). If you are a tenant then please give details of your landlord/property manager and whether you rent a room or an entire house or flat. Please also provide copies of any letters or email correspondence you have had. This information is required to progress the case.