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Amenity Standards for Privately Rented dwellings

Single family dwellings

This section covers all dwellings that are rented out to a single related family. A single-family dwelling is defined as being a dwelling occupied by a person or persons that are living as a single household. This includes people that are married or living together as a couple (including those persons in same-sex relationships). "Family" means specific relatives: parents, grandparents, children, stepchildren, foster children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or cousins.

General Principles

All privately rented single family dwellings should, as a minimum standard, meet with the decent home's standard. That is:

  1. it meets the current statutory minimum standard for housing
    • dwellings that contain one or more hazards assessed as serious (Category 1 Hazards) using the HHSRS will fail to meet this basic criterion
  2. it is a reasonable state of repair
    • dwellings which fail to meet this criterion are those where either:
      • one or more of the key building components are old and, because of their condition need replacing or major repair; or
      • two or more of the other building components are old and, because of their condition, need replacing or major repair
  3. it has reasonably modern facilities and services
    • dwellings that fail to meet this criterion are those that lack three or more of the following:
      • a reasonably modern kitchen (less than 20 years old)
      • a kitchen with adequate space and layout
      • a reasonably modern bathroom (less than 30 years old)
      • an appropriately located bathroom and WC
      • adequate insulation against external noise (where external noise is a problem); and
      • adequate size and layout of common areas for blocks of flats
  4. it provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort
    • this criterion requires a dwelling to have both effective insulation and efficient heating

Heating and Insulation

A single-family dwelling should be provided with adequate thermal insulation and a suitable and effective means of space heating so that it can be economically maintained at a reasonable temperature.

Efficient heating is defined as:

  • any programmable gas or oil central heating system; or
  • electric storage heaters linked to Economy 7 (or similar) low-cost energy provision; or#
  • warm air systems; or
  • under floor heating systems; or
  • programmable LPG/ solid-fuel central heating system; or
  • similarly efficient heating systems which are developed in the future

Heating Guidance

  • all heaters must be securely fixed in position and fully controllable by the tenant
  • electric storage heaters must be hard-wired into a dedicated and adequately rated fused control switch
  • all habitable rooms and bathrooms should have a heating provision capable of raising the temperature of the room to 21°C and maintaining that temperature when the outside temperature is -1°C
  • portable heating appliances such as electric fires, convector or fan heaters, paraffin oil and LPG (bottled gas) should not be provided by the landlord or used by the tenant

Insulation Guidance

  • loft spaces should be insulated with 270mm depth of glass fibre insulation or equivalent
  • windows should be of sound construction and well-maintained as to be draught-proof and water-tight
  • the front and rear doors to the dwelling should be well-fitting, of sound construction and well-maintained as to be draught-proof and water-tight

Where possible landlords should consider insulating the wall cavity of the building where a cavity exists.

Gas Safety

It is a requirement for the landlords of all rented properties to have any gas boiler and appliance tested on an annual basis. The gas safety check and all repair work to any gas appliance must be conducted by a recognised engineer. A recognised engineer means an engineer approved under regulation 3 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. From the 1st of April 2009 the registration scheme administered by CORGI was replaced by a new scheme called the "GAS SAFE REGISTER". A person will no longer be approved for the purposes of regulation 3 if registered by CORGI.

The test certificates issued must be retained by the landlord for a minimum period of two years. A copy of the test certificate must also be issued to the tenant.

A landlord of a privately rented dwelling must make the latest gas appliance test certificate available to the Council on receipt of a written request from the Council.

Electrical Safety

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

The landlord must ensure that the fixed electrical system is inspected and tested every 5-years by a person qualified to undertake such inspection and testing.

The new regulations, titled The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, were officially brought in on 1st April 2020. In July 2020, all new tenancies required an EICR. As of 1st April 2021, this requirement applies to all tenancies - new and existing.

The inspection and test reports must be retained by the landlord and the landlord must make the latest electrical test report available to the Council within 7-days on receipt of a written request from the Council.

Portable appliance testing (PAT)

It is advisable that landlords ensure the safety of electrical appliances in their properties.

If any electrical equipment has been supplied by the landlord of a privately rented dwelling it is advisable that it has been portable appliances tested. This applies to fridges, freezers, cookers, vacuum cleaners and any other portable electrical items or electrical appliances supplied as part of the fixtures and fittings of the property. It also includes those electrical appliances that have been left in the property by previous tenants for the use of the current or future tenants.

Minor Domestic Electrical Installation Works Certificate

It became a requirement of the Housing Act 2004 that any electrical installation fitted in a room where water is present, such as a kitchen or bathroom, requires a minor domestic electrical installation works certificate.

Plug sockets

Modern day living has a heavy reliance on electrical appliances. This can lead to the extensive use of multi-plug adaptors and extension leads in rooms where there is an insufficient number of plug outlets. Trailing extension leads can be dangerous and overloaded sockets, and cause fires, damage to property, injury, or even death. It is therefore recommended that all rooms are furnished with an adequate number of plug sockets.

Fire Safety

See the Borough Council's publication Fire Precautions in Residential Dwellings for guidance on fire safety requirements in HMOs.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) became a legal requirement for dwellings being rented in the private sector on 1st October 2008. The EPC rates the energy performance of a building. The idea is like the well-established energy labels for the sale of white goods such as washing machines. For more information, please see,

Other Facilities


At the commencement of a new tenancy the landlord should ensure (where applicable):

  • that all gardens are clean and tidy, free of all rubbish and items discarded by previous occupancies
  • that any lawns are recently mown, and any hedges are trimmed
  • that all fencing is in a good state of repair
  • that all outbuildings, sheds, and garden structures are safe for purpose
  • that all electric or petrol-powered gardening equipment is safe for purpose
  • that all gates can be closed and locked where there is a possible security risk (for example, rear gardens that back onto an alleyway)
  • that the responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of any garden spaces during the period of a tenancy, is clearly defined and understood by the tenant, at the beginning of that tenancy


All households should be provided with the correct bins for the storage of household waste designated for disposal at landfill and waste that is sent for recycling. Currently the Council operates a three-colour bin system.

  • Green bin for recyclable material
  • Black bin for general household waste
  • Brown bin for garden waste

All bins must be regularly cleaned, have working lids, and used correctly by the tenant.

See our Rubbish and recycling section for more details.


All upholstered furniture and soft furnishings (including beds, mattresses, pillows, and cushions) provided by the landlord in private rented dwellings, including any furniture that have been left in the property by previous tenants for the use of the current or future tenants, must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

Last modified on 04 January 2024

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