Advice for private rented tenants

Housing and Environmental Health

Frequently Asked Questions

The house next door is a dirty premises with a bad smell.  What can I do?

Contact Environmental Health on 020 7361 3002 or email An officer will get back to you to discuss the issues.

Our drain is blocked – what do we do?

If you are a tenant you should report the incident as soon as possible to your landlord. Where this has been done and they have failed to sort out the problem within a reasonable length of time, you can make a complaint to Environmental Health by calling 020 7361 3002 or you can email;

I have mice/rats in my house/garden.  How long will it take to get rid of them and what can I do about them?

Every case is different, however if you can minimise the pests' food source – for example by keeping packets of food in plastic containers - the level of activity will be reduced. You can also call the Environmental Health line on 020 7361 3002 to arrange an appointment with the Council's Pest Control Service. Alternatively you can follow the link below for further advice;…

What powers does an environmental health officer have?

Environmental health officers can force landlords to carry out works to their properties where they have been found to be negligent in their management of the building. In severe cases, where informal action has not been successful they can serve a legal notice.

  • I think I might have asbestos material in my house, can you help?

If you know or suspect you have asbestos in your property it is very important not to touch or disturb it in any way. Some asbestos is best left untouched and left as it is as its removal can cause more harm than good. If you own your property we strongly advise you to seek professional advice from a competent contractor about its removal.

If you rent your property you should speak to your landlord directly. Alternatively you can call Environmental Health on 020 7361 3002 or you can email

I have "black mould" in my house.  Is this a problem? If so, what can I do about it? 

Black mould can be caused by a number of things, condensation, damp or a lack of proper ventilation to a property. Not only is black mould unsightly but it can have adverse health effects especially to those that suffer from respiratory problems. There are several ways to deal with mould but it is important to find its source before taking action otherwise it will continue to return. For further advice please call  Environmental Health by calling 020 7361 3002 or you can email;

Can the Council recommend a builder?

The Council cannot recommend builders and does not have an approved contractor list. If you need a builder, we recommend that you obtain a number of quotes for your intended works and find out if the builders belong to a respected trade body. You should also try to have the work agreed in writing, including the work to be done, security and safety and the method of disposing of materials. 

I am elderly/disabled and need a little help so I can stay in my own home. Can the Council help me?

Yes. You can contact Environmental Health by calling 020 7361 3002 or you can email; to discuss your needs and to speak to an officer. There is also further advice on the following two links;…

Can the Council help me get my home insulated?

The Council does not have any grants specifically available for insulation, however The Healthy Homes Hotline - 0808 202 6204 is available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday to offer advice and options regarding nationwide initiatives and grants.

I own my home and need help with essential repairs. Does the Council offer a grant or loan so that I can get the work done?

The Council does not have any grants available specifically for home owners however the below link is an information leaflet on Equity Release which may be an option open to you.

I rent my home from a housing association and have problems getting the repairs undertaken. Can you help me resolve the problem?

All other housing association tenants are asked to contact their landlords in the first instance before making a complaint to Environmental Health and should be able to provide evidence that they have done so. Only then will Environmental Health be in a position to help you.

Can Environmental Health help me to be re-housed?

Environmental Health cannot help tenants to be re-housed. As a housing department it is our aim to keep people in their properties wherever possible by ensuring that any hazards in the home are made safe so that the property can continue to be occupied. When this is not possible, you should contact the Housing Options Team on 020 7361 3008 or email

Last updated: 27 October 2021