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Housing conditions

Landlords have responsibilities to ensure their properties are fit to live in. A rented home may be unfit to live in where conditions or safety issues are so bad that it is not reasonable for you to live there. This could be because they:

  • Have a detrimental effect on your health
  • Are a safety risk
  • Mean that you cannot make full use of your home

Things that may make your home unfit to live in include:

  • Gas safety risks or unsafe electrics
  • Fire safety issues
  • Damp, mould or lack of heating
  • Rats, mice or other pests
  • Disrepair
  • Unsanitary bathrooms, toilets or kitchens

You have a right to court action if your home is unfit to live in and your landlord refuses to carry out work needed or pay you compensation.

Disagreements with neighbours can also become a problem. Citizens Advice have information on how to tackle complaints or disagreements: 

Information from local councils 

North Warwickshire Borough Council 

Preventing damp and mould - advice leaflet 

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council 

Damp and mould 

Rugby Borough Council 

If your home is unfit to live in

Preventing damp and mould - advice leaflet 

Warwick District Council  

Damp and mould 

Living conditions 

Stratford upon Avon District Council 

Damp and mould - advice leaflet 

Housing standards 

Councils no longer offer a pest control service so it would involve contacting a local pest control contractor. Additional information about pests is available from:  


Lack of space in the home and overcrowding can also be difficult and stressful with increased risks of physical injury, poor physical and mental health.

There are two definitions of legal overcrowding, which cover the room standard and space.

The room standard is based on the number and sex of people who must sleep in one room. It is contravened when two people of the opposite sex must sleep in the same room. The exceptions to this rule are:

  • Cohabiting or married couples
  • Children under the age of ten

All living rooms and bedrooms are included in this calculation (and could also include a large kitchen).

The space standard is based on the maximum number of people who may sleep in one dwelling of a particular size. This depends on the size of the room(s), the number of rooms and the age of the occupants.

Guidance on overcrowding and/or living conditions can be obtained from your local council:

More information on housing conditions:

Furnishing your home

Some tenancies will come already furnished. Most council and housing association tenancies, however, will be unfurnished properties.

You may have furnishings from a previous property that you can bring to your new property. You may have had to leave furnishings and other belongings behind. Or you may not have items such as white goods and furniture to bring to the property and cannot afford to buy them.

Citizens Advice Scotland – furnishings and appliances in rented homes

Thinking about furnishing your home cheaply and sustainably can be fun. Sourcing second hand or preloved items can save money, save landfill space and benefit the environment. It also means you create a living space unique to you.

It’s best to start with a plan – what are your priorities? What do you really need? What can you source second hand?

Many local charitable organisations and community centres can advise around finding grants and/or pre-loved goods.

Local organisations who can help with baby essentials and clothing for a new baby can be found online - help for expectant and new parents

Local community support

Warwickshire’s reuse and recycle page has lots of ideas for places to look for local and national reuse schemes.

Local repair shops and cafes may be able to upcycle or repair damaged items.

Timebanking can be a way of helping each other out.

And don’t forget the power of plants to transform a living space and improve our health and wellbeing.

More information on responsibilities for landlord provided furnishings can be found on our tenancies page.

If you are struggling to provide the essentials for your new home, call the Warwickshire Welfare Scheme or Family Information Service who may be able to help:


Hoarding is a poorly understood condition and can be seen as more or less of a problem depending on the perspective of the hoarder and others who are impacted.  

The NHS classify a hoarding disorder as “where someone acquires an excessive number of items and stores them in a chaotic manner, usually resulting in unmanageable amounts of clutter”. 

Many of us tend to accumulate clutter and may have periodic sort-outs. Hoarding becomes more of an issue when the clutter continues to pile up to such an extent that it prevents free movement around the house, resulting in safety issues and lack of living space. It can also create a significant health hazard as the areas cannot be cleaned properly and can become infested with vermin. 

Hoarding often carries a psychological component as the individual can compulsively hoard and become very distressed about getting rid of any accumulated items. It is considered a mental health condition. 

More information about hoarding is available on the NHS website

Support is available for problem hoarding: 

Enabling Spaces 

Enabling Spaces CIC provides a specialist occupational therapy led service, providing thorough assessments, interventions, practical support and solutions to individuals who compulsively hoard and live in domestic squalor. 

More information on Enabling Spaces 

Clouds End 

Clouds End has information about hoarding and offers one-to-one support and support groups.  

More about Clouds End 


Hoarding may also be helped by counselling, particularly cognitive behavioural therapy. Counselling support is listed on our mental health and wellbeing pages below. 

Mental health and wellbeing 

Warwickshire Fire Service  

Warwickshire Fire Service offer safe and well visits, providing a free home fire safety check.  

Housing Support

Housing related support organisations may also be able to help with hoarding issues. 

Housing Related Support 

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