Baroness Gardner of Parkes – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Communities and Local Government

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Gardner of Parkes on 2015-10-20.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there is an authority that has the right to inspect properties with regard to the number of people living in the property; and what power that body has to act.

Baroness Williams of Trafford

Local authorities have powers under Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985 to tackle overcrowding. They can inspect a property to determine the number of people who are living there and have powers to take action against landlords of overcrowded properties on a tenant’s behalf, such as serve a notice to abate overcrowding.

In addition the Housing Act 2004 introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System which is designed to assess the presence and severity of a range of hazards in the home, such as excess cold, fire, crowding and space. This allows action to be taken by local authorities, such as issuing an improvement notice, against individual properties which are substandard or dangerous.