The Decent Homes Standard means accommodation rented out by the council or housing associations should meet a certain criteria. Homes that do not stick to the requirements need to be improved by the landlord.
Social housing, rented out by councils or housing associations in England should meet the Decent Home Standard.
Private rented sector properties are not required to follow the Standard, however, council’s can offer a private tenancy to those who are homeless, and these should be safe and in a reasonable condition.
A house will meet the Decent Home Standard by:
- Meeting minimum safety standards for housing, using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
- Being in a reasonable state of repair.
- Having reasonably modern facilities and services.
- Having efficient heating and effective insulation.
A property will fail the Standard if it does not meet all four of these measures.
If a landlord does not feel a house meets the Standard, repair and improvement works may be conducted. These are often completed through a planned improvement programme.
Through this plan, work can be carried out at different stages, for example, the council could replace all of the windows in their housing stock one year, and the next replace all kitchens, etc.
What is the Decent Homes Standard?
The council or housing association will collect lots of information in making the decision of whether a property meets the Standard.What is the Decent Homes Standard?
It should analyse:
- Information and complaints from tenants.
- Repairs and maintenance records.
- Reports from residents’ associations.
A property will fail the Decent Homes Standard if it does not pass these checks:
- The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
The HHSRS measures serious problems within a property. It requires that there are no severe hazards that could lead to death or serious injury, for example, a fall caused by dangerous stairs.
- Reasonable state of repair
A house must be in a reasonable state of repair to pass, for example, the roof must not leak and the heating system cannot be in a poor condition.
- Reasonably modern facilities
Reasonably modern facilities does not apply if the property lacks three or more conditions from a specific list, for example, the kitchen and bathroom both do not have modern facilities and the kitchen also has an inadequate layout or lack of space.
- Warm and weatherproof
A house must have an efficient heating system or effective insulation. This does not necessarily mean that if the property is damp or expensive to heat that it was fail to meet the Standard.
If tenants are not satisfied with the work done to comply with the Decent Homes Standard, they should contact their local council.