If your property has a problem and the local authority decides that the problem is serious enough to be regarded as a Category 1 or 2 hazard, then it can serve an Improvement Notice on you obliging you to carry out works.

Under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), a hazard is a risk of harm to health or safety because of a problem in the home. There are two categories of hazard. The most dangerous hazards are Category 1 hazards and less dangerous hazards are Category 2 hazards

It may not come as a surprise to learn that local authorities make mistakes. But perhaps that is to be expected given the fiendishly complicated nature of parts of Housing Act 2004.

The Notice served on you must state:

  • whether the notice is served under s11 or s12 of the Act (s11 applies to Category 1 hazards and s12 applies to Category 2 hazards);
  • the nature of the hazard and the property where it is;
  • the deficiency giving rise to the hazard;
  • the premises in relation to which the remedial action is to be taken and the nature of the remedial action needed;
  • the date when the remedial action is to be started - which cannot be earlier that the 28th day after the day of service of the notice;
  • the time period for the remedial action to be finished in;
  • information about the right to appeal; and
  • the period of time for making an appeal.

The local authority has to serve a copy of the Notice on any other freeholder, any mortgagee, lessee or occupier.

If you are a landlord and you receive an Improvement Notice from the local authority then get in contact with HPLP straightaway. We can check the notice and its method of service to see if it is valid. We can also advise you as to whether an appeal against the Notice is likely to be successful.