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Housing and homelessness services are running, and can be contacted by phone email or walk-in

Services to tenants in local authority housing remain in operation and can be contacted by phone or email. Payments can be made online; you can also call our payments line on 0800 876 6576.

All housing offices will be open for those that need to come into the offices.  Appointments for in-person meetings can be arranged by tenants contacting their Housing Officer. Contact details for your local housing office can be found on our ‘contact us’ page

If you think you will have difficulty paying your rent or mortgage, contact your landlord or mortgage company to explain your situation and find out how they can help. The government has announced some additional measures to prevent homelessness during this time, but it is important to get advice early to fix any problems meeting your housing costs.

If you are worried about losing your home, contact the council’s Housing Needs, Advice and Support team by ringing 023 9283 4989 or emailing Housing.Options@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

Advice for council tenants

If you are a Portsmouth City Council tenant please call your local housing office to find out what support is available to you.

Council house repairs

Following the latest government coronavirus advice, we are now able to undertake all repairs as long as no issues have been highlighted when we carry out the risk assessment, and that the resident or anyone living in their home is not self-isolating or has confirmed COVID-19.

When you report a repair we will ask you if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating. If someone is self-isolating at the property we will ask them to move into a room away from the area of work where the repair needs to be undertaken with the door closed, so that we can keep everyone safe and well.

How the repair appointment is arranged and agreed with the resident will depend on the type of repair:

Urgent essential repair – if the repair is urgent or essential we will make an appointment that is convenient with the resident.

An urgent essential repair is either an immediate risk to the safety and comfort of the resident and/or is likely to cause further damage to the property including the following examples;

  • Loss of essential services such as no heating or hot water or water supply
  • Electrical faults causing danger or no electric supply or loss of lighting
  • Water leaks or ingress of water causing damage
  • Blocked drains or WC not working where no alternative toilet
  • Building structural issues or weather tightness such as roof leaks
  • Building security including entrance door security or temporary boarding and intruder alarms
  • Gas servicing and repairs
  • Health and safety issues and make safe repairs
  • Essential work to ensure disabled adaptions remain operational such as stair lift repairs
  • Asbestos removal to facilitate emergency work
  • Compliance checks such as fire, legionella and emergency lighting

Non-urgent essential repair – when a non-urgent essential repair is received we will make an appointment that is a convenient date for the resident, with a minimum one week lead-in period.

Non-urgent essential repairs are not an immediate risk to the safety and comfort of the resident and/or likely to immediately cause further damage to the property. They are also not extensive works requiring organisation by the service provider. They are, however, repairs required to the property or causing inconvenience to the resident.

Non-essential repair – when a non-essential repair is received we will take the repair details from the resident and share these details with the service provider who will phone the resident as soon as possible to make a convenient appointment.

Non-essential repairs are larger repairs that are typically undertaken over a longer period of time that require organisation by the service provider before being undertaken. The resident is not likely to be inconvenienced by any delay in scheduling the work that includes the following examples;

  • Kitchen replacement
  • Disabled adaptions
  • Bathroom replacement
  • Shower installations
  • Special decorations
  • Fencing replacement

Transfer of property – If you are moving from your PCC-provided home it may be necessary for your Housing Officer to make a visit before you leave.  From 12 April Housing Officers may look to arrange a visit to your property to help outgoing tenants to ensure that the handover is completed properly.

Advice for private renters

Advice about disrepair in your rental property

You should report disrepair to your landlord as normal, and they must carry out necessary repairs. However we recommend tenants and landlords take a common-sense approach to non-urgent issues which are affected by coronavirus related restrictions.

Health and safety issues

Where safe, we recommend you allow local authorities, landlords or contractors access to your property in order to inspect and fix urgent health and safety issues.

Health and safety issues are issues which will affect your ability to live safely and maintain your mental and physical health in your home. This could include:

  • a problem with the fabric of your building, for example the roof is leaking
  • a broken boiler, leaving you without heating or hot water
  • a plumbing issue, meaning you don’t have washing or toilet facilities
  • broken white goods, such as fridge or washing machine, meaning you’re unable to wash clothes or store food safely
  • a security-critical problem, such as a broken window or external door
  • installation or repair to equipment a disabled person relies on or requires~

We continue to recommend you to follow sensible precautions to keep yourself safe when contractors or others are visiting your property.  You can read public health guidance here.

Where an issue is critical to your health and safety, we strongly advise you take extra measures such as remaining in separate rooms during any visits and following Government advice on hygiene and cleanliness before, during and after visits.

You do not need to have direct contact with anyone visiting your property to carry out repairs.

Gas and electrical safety inspections

Landlords must provide tenants with all necessary gas and electrical safety certification at the beginning of a tenancy. They should also carry out all scheduled inspections and tests where required. Where inspections have already been carried out, documents can be sent by post or digitally.

Landlords should make every effort to follow existing gas safety regulations and electrical safety regulations which came into force on 1 July 2020. There are provisions in both regulations to account for situations in which a landlord can’t do this, and they must show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law.

If a landlord is not able to gain access to the property due to coronavirus restrictions, or can’t get a contractor to carry out the necessary work, we recommend they document their attempts to do so.

Advice regarding your tenancy agreement

If you’re a tenant you should continue to pay your rent to your landlord as normal. If you can’t pay your rent, you need to tell your landlord as soon as possible.

Extended notice periods

The government have introduced measures to protect tenants and the latest advice on notice periods can be found on the government website.

Where to get help

If you need advice about your tenancy agreement or think your landlord is not following the correct procedures you can contact Advice Portsmouth. Advice Portsmouth can provide you with advice over the phone on 07789 550593 or 023 9279 4340 or you can email them at advice.portsmouth@theyoutrust.org.uk

If you live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

If you are living in shared accommodation, or share facilities with other people, this counts as one household for the purposes of self-isolation and you should follow current Public Health England guidance.

Certificates required as part of HMO licence conditions are still required – landlords should arrange to fulfil these in advance of the deadline date.

Good to know

  • Nobody can be removed from their home because of the virus
  • Landlords do not have to provide alternative accommodation for tenants if others in the property contract the virus
  • House moves should be delayed unless moving is absolutely unavoidable
  • If you’re having to leave accommodation, you should seek alternative accommodation, or get in touch with your local authority

Find out more

Enforcement by Portsmouth City Council

The government has introduced measures to protect tenants during the current pandemic. The latest advice on notice periods can be found on the government website

Portsmouth City Council will take a practical approach to enforcement that ensures tenants are kept safe and landlords are supported. Inspections of properties will take place with appropriate risk assessments and in some cases, such as where a tenant might be self-isolating, an assessment could be made through photographs, video or live broadcasting by the tenant where appropriate to do so.

Portsmouth City Council aim to work closely with landlords and tenants to ensure standards in rented properties are maintained. Portsmouth City Council will use communications and marketing where possible to emphasise with landlords the importance of keeping properties free from hazardous conditions, but also reassure them that a pragmatic, risk-based and common-sense approach will be used when enforcement decisions are taken.

The Government has produced specific guidance for tenants and landlords.

Advice for landlords

You can find Government advice for landlords on Gov.UK.

If you are a landlord renting to university students we urge you to be as flexible as possible with rent payments.