Copeland Borough Council Says Homes Should Not Be Left Unsafe Despite COVID-19 Restrictions

Tenants and landlords in Copeland are being reminded that homes should not be left in a state where they are unsafe and needing urgent repairs, despite the Covid-19 restrictions. 

Tenants have a right to a decent, warm and safe place to live and it is the role of Copeland 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, says the council, and are important to protect tenants from unsafe housing. 

Therefore the council is reminding tenants that if they are privately renting and feel their home is dangerous and there is an imminent risk to their health, they should contact their landlord in the first instance to instigate the repairs. 

If they are not happy with their landlord’s response, they can contact the council’s Housing Renewals Team on 01946 598300 or for advice.

The council is able to put remedial measures in place (and recharge the landlord) where there are hazardous faults with gas or electrics, or dangerous structures that the landlord has not taken appropriate action to address.

Social housing tenants are advised to contact their housing association for help and advice during this time.  

Councillor Michael McVeigh, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, said “It is important that private tenants know that, even under the current restrictions, they are entitled to live in a safe, warm home.

“I hope that this guidance provides reassurance to them and their landlords that essential repairs and maintenance can still be done, if the appropriate measures are put in place. Our officers are available to support tenants and landlords if they get in touch.”

To help prevent the spread of Covid–19, the council’s officers will only be carrying out essential visits and only after completing a suitable risk assessment. Officers may ask tenants to provide photographic or video evidence to help assess the risk. 

The Government has released a number of advisory guidance documents to support and encourage landlords and tenants in adopting a pragmatic approach to issues that may arise in the current circumstances, including boiler repairs. These can be found HERE . 

The Government has also brought forward a package of measures to protect landlords and tenants affected by Covid-19. These can be found HERE.

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