West Berkshire Council

Rented Housing Regulations

Inspection, regulation and enforcement in the private rented sector

We regulate rented housing in West Berkshire and Wokingham and have powers of enforcement to make sure that laws relating to environmental health (for instance laws relating to housing standards and conditions, drainage and sanitation) are followed. 

The government offer guidance for private tenants and landlords about making sure a property is fit to be lived in, and what to do if problems occur.

Inspections

To make sure houses are fit to be lived in, we conduct inspections.  We inspect properties using the guidance on the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) set out by the government. 

The government also publish guidance for landlords on the HHSRS, the system we use to assess conditions, risks and hazards in these inspections. 

To arrange an inspection please contact us.

Disputes

If there are disputes related to living in or owning rented property the Residential Property Tribunal is designed to settle them - contact them directly to discuss your case.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What is a licensable HMO?

A house, flat, a house converted into self-contained flat (converted into self-contained flats, but does not meet the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulations, and at least 1/3 of the flats are occupied under short tenancies), or a converted building but is not entirely self-contained flats (whether or not some amenities are shared or lacking) is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) if:

  • it is occupied by five or more people - adults and children are counted as people
  • the occupants form two or more households - a household may be either a single person, or several members of the same family all related by blood (up to first cousin distance), or marriage (or equivalent co-habiting arrangement)
  • basic amenities such as the toilet, bathroom and/or kitchen are shared
  • it is the occupants only or main residence or they are to be treated as so occupying it - this includes full-time students and use as a refuge from domestic violence
  • rent is payable - or other consideration, for example the accommodation is provided instead of wages

Apply for HMO Licence Online

HMO applications can be completed online. Enter the HMO postcode and you will be directed to the relevant council webpage. Follow directions on how to complete and submit your application and pay the relevant fee. 

The HMO application fee is £1,145.

HMO Amenities and Facilities Guidance

Our pdf icon HMO Licensable Guidance [313kb] explains in more details of the statutory minimum legal requirements which should be read in conjunction with the pdf icon Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) Guidance for Landlords and Property Related Professionals [2Mb] and pdf icon Lacors Fire Safety Guidance [1008kb].

Information for tenants

We are responsible for enforcing HMO standards. 
Contact us if you live in a HMO and you feel there are any unreasonable hazards which your private landlord is not dealing with.

Public Register of HMOs

We hold a Public Register of Houses in Multiple Occupation in West Berkshire
Wokingham residents should contact us if they would like to view a copy of the register for their area.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

In line with The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, we publish a pdf icon Statement of Principles [59kb].

The document outlines the terms under which we enforce the law relating to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and how we penalise those landlords found negligent.

The Gov.uk website also provides an explanatory booklet for landlords and tenants about the law.

Who To Contact