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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 10/07/2007
Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy

Waverley Borough Council


[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

To present a policy for the approval of the Executive and adoption by the Council on the application of the Council’s enforcement work with respect to private sector housing issues.

Environmental implications:

The enforcement policy links directly to the Council’s aim “to enhance the quality of life in Waverley”.

Social/Community Implications:

The purpose of this report is to ensure that Council enforcement action is properly based on policy approved by the Council. The policy will support successful enforcement action and thereby reduce health and safety risks and nuisances to residential occupiers and their visitors.

E-Government Implications:

The Private Sector Enforcement Policy will be available on the Council web site.

Resource and Legal Implications:

The resource implications will be neutral since the new policy simply clarifies the Council’s actions with respect to housing legislation and does not introduce practices which do not already exist under the legislation or the Council’s Corporate Enforcement Policy, adopted by the Council on 18th February 2003.

The legal implications are that the enforcement activity of the private sector housing team will be improved to accord fully with the Housing Act 2004 and supporting secondary legislation.


1. Waverley Borough Council formally adopted a corporate enforcement policy on 18th February 2003 in order to meet its obligations arising from relevant legislation and the principles of the enforcement concordat. There is a general obligation to ensure that the various statutes are enforced in a proportionate, consistent, targeted and transparent manner. The Corporate Enforcement Policy is attached at Annexe 1 to this report.

2. Significant changes have been introduced to the Council’s enforcement work in private sector housing by the commencement of the Housing Act 2004, which it is felt will require specific guidance on the Council’s Enforcement Policy.

3. This legislation has extended the Council’s range of enforcement activity by

Introducing a new notice procedure for dealing with defects in residential properties under a new system of assessment known as the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Providing for mandatory licensing of housing in multiple occupation. Providing power to the Council to issue management orders to take over management of properties where standards are inadequate. Introducing empty dwelling management orders to secure occupation and proper management of empty properties where certain other conditions are met.

4. A new enforcement policy, specific to private sector housing enforcement work, has been produced to reflect these changes and is attached as Annexe 2.


It is recommended that the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy be approved and referred to the Council for adoption.

Background Papers (DoEL)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972 relating to this report.


Name: Simon Brisk Telephone: 01483 523421

E-mail: sbrisk@waverley.gov.uk