Housing management

Household utilities

Water and drainage

A clean water supply is essential for healthy living and must be provided in sufficient quantity.

A water supply may be unsuitable if:

  • it is provided through broken and rusted pipe-work and tanks
  • water tanks and pipes are not protected from contamination - for instance, not sufficiently protected against lead contamination (from lead pipes)
  • insufficient supply of drinking water encourages use of tank water for drinking
  • a mains supply is not provided to the kitchen

If you have questions about a private water supply in the borough, please use the online regulatory services enquiry form.

Every property must have a proper working drainage system. Failure to provide this can cause disease and infection from untreated, foul, water and sewage and can result in unpleasant odours and vermin activity.

Examples of poor drainage are:

  • blocked/broken drains or sewers - causing water overflows which can result in slips or falls (especially if frozen) and bad smells affecting your neighbours
  • pipes not connected to the drainage system
  • missing, rusted, broken and leaking gutters and rainwater down-pipes - causing moisture damage to walls and roofing

A working toilet and wash hand basin is important to stop the spread of disease and infections. To avoid the spread of disease and infections and maintain personal hygiene, therefore reducing risk of body odour, body lice and infections, a dwelling must have:

  • a flush water closet located inside the dwelling with a wash hand basin located close by that is provided with a hot and cold water supply
  • a bath or shower located in a bathroom together with a hot and cold water supply
  • amenities that are not cracked, damaged or leaking or in such condition that they cannot be effectively cleaned
  • taps that are working correctly and a hot water supply temperature that is capable of being controlled
  • amenities properly connected to the drainage system

Gas, electricity and lighting

Certain equipment that you use at home must comply to safety standards & regulations and your home must provide sufficient lighting.

Electric hazards
Covers hazards from electrical shocks and burns but not fire caused by defective electrical installations.

Fire, flames, hot surfaces, etc
Relates to injury from uncontrolled fire and associated smoke and includes burns and scalds from liquids and vapours other than hot water.

Explosions
Principally concerns injury resulting from gas explosions. Landlords should note that they have specific duties in respect of gas safety.

Lighting
Inadequate lighting can cause accidents, eye strain and can have adverse psychological effects.

Lighting affects people's body rhythms, sleep patterns, alertness and moods.  Natural lighting is also a natural disinfectant.  Poor lighting can cause eye strain, increase the risk of accidents and may prevent hygienic cleaning and proper maintenance being carried out.

Homes suffer from poor lighting when:

  • it is not possible to read during the day without having a light on
  • stairways are dark and gloomy
  • lighting is poor in the kitchen and bathroom
  • windows are too small (for instance, less than 10% of the floor area of the room)