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Tenants and landlords in Allerdale: Homes should not be left in unsafe state despite coronavirus lockdown

Jonathan Irving

Jonathan Irving

Posted on 05 May 2020

Tenants and landlords are being reminded that despite the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, homes should not be left in a state where they are unsafe and needing urgent repairs.

The Government has released a number of advisory guidance documents to support and encourage landlords and tenants in adopting a pragmatic, common sense approach to issues that may arise in the current circumstances - such as boiler repairs. These can be found on the government websitehttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities

Tenants have a right to a decent, warm and safe place to live and it is the role of Allerdale Borough Council to keep housing conditions under review and take appropriate action in the event that hazards exist within the home. 

These duties and powers still exist during the Covid-19 lockdown and are important to protect tenants. 

Therefore the council is reminding tenants that if they are privately renting and they feel their home is dangerous and there is an imminent risk to their health, then they should contact their landlord in the first instance to get any repairs completed as soon as possible. It they are not happy with their landlord’s response, then they can contact the council’s Private Sector Housing Team on 0303 123 1702.

If they are a social housing tenant then they should contact their housing association for help and advice during this time.  

Mike Johnson, Deputy Leader and Executive member with responsibility for housing enforcement, said:

“We understand that in the current situation people could be confused about what the right thing to do is. However, it is vitally important people don’t suffer in dangerous and unsafe housing, especially at a time when they are spending more time at home. Responsible landlords will want to do the right thing, and the government guidance shows them how they can carry out repairs safely. And our team are here to offer help and advice to them as well as to tenants.”   

To help alleviate the spread of Covid–19, the council’s housing team will only be carrying out essential visits where it is considered completely necessary and only after completing a suitable risk assessment. Officers may ask you to provide photographic or video evidence to help assess the risk. 

When an inspection is unavoidable social distancing measures and other measures will be applied to help protect the tenant and council officer from infection. 
The Government has also brought forward a package of measures to protect landlords and tenants affected by Covid -19. With these in force, no renter in either social or private rented accommodation will be forced out of their home. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.