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Private tenants

A range of support services are available for private rental tenants.

Almost 10,000 households within the borough of Dudley rent their homes from a private landlord or agent. Private renting is flexible and often offers a good housing solution.

The private rented sector is extremely varied and ranges from hostels for the homeless to luxury apartments. The standard of accommodation and management can also vary, as does cost. As a council, we are actively working with landlords and tenants to encourage safe, quality, responsible renting, promoting a good, positive image of renting and supporting good practice.

We can give you guidance on the legal standards for private rented housing, advice on how to go about finding a property to rent and what to do if you have problems with your landlord. We have a range of powers we can use to ensure people and properties are safe and well managed and that tenants are free from harassment and nuisance. If you’re already a tenant, thinking of renting from a private landlord, or looking for somewhere to live, then we can help.

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Finding somewhere to live

Private rented properties are advertised in many ways, including in the press, shop windows, estate agents and on internet sites. Please use the form below to request housing advice.

:: request for housing advice

The Association of Residential Letting Agents can also help provide details of local letting agents.

Private tenants’ handbook

We have produced a handbook, packed full of handy tips and hints, which covers everything tenants need to know about renting privately.

The handbook will help with choosing a rental property, managing a tenancy and avoiding any potential problems. It will also help you to decide what to do if things go wrong. A useful directory of local services is included, as well as a valuable checklist to help is assessing a rental property.

:: view the private tenants handbook

Choosing a rental property

Before you agree to rent or sign any paperwork, remember to take a really good look at the property that you’re considering, ensuring it is safe and secure to live in and that all outstanding repairs are carried out before you move in. Visit the property both in daylight and in the evening to check that the area is safe and always ensure you take someone with you. Please see Thinking about renting from a private landlord? which explains what you need to know about renting in the private sector.

Dudley is also a member of Homestamp, a partner consortium with an interest in private sector housing comprising of local authorities, the Private Rented Sector and West Midlands Police and Fire Service whose aim is to: encourage the supply of good quality private rented homes, to provide and facilitate information and training for landlords, to consider and respond to regional and national issues affecting the private rented sector and to encourage joint working between all interested parties. The Homestamp Consortium produced a publication on renting in the private sector called, Read this first - renting private property important checklists, which incorporates a checklist of things to consider before renting in the private sector.

Landlord problems

If you are living in privately rented accommodation the law protects you against harassment and illegal eviction by your landlord. Both of these acts are criminal offences and victims are able to claim damages, through the civil court.

:: more on landlord problems

Getting repairs done 

If you need a repair to your rental property, write or call your landlord. If the landlord refuses to do the work, then contact us on 01384 815118. The council has a number of powers that it can use to ensure that works are carried out to the minimum statutory housing standard.  

Make sure that, when you sign your tenancy agreement that you find out which repairs your landlord is responsible for, which you are responsible for and the procedure for reporting a repair. 

Tenancies granted for less than 7 years on or after 24 October 1961, the landlord is by law normally responsible for the repair of the structure and exterior of the home and for keeping in repair and proper working order any basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations and any installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity, for heating water and for space heating.  For more detailed information, please read Repairs - A guide for landlords and tenants.

Problems with rent 

If you’re struggling to pay your rent, you may be able to claim benefits in order to help you manage. You can get further advice from Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345

Tenancy deposit protection 

Further information please see more on tenancy deposit protection

Anti-social behaviour

We all have the right to live in peace free from the nuisance of problem neighbours, threatening behaviour or harassment. If you have a problem with antisocial behaviour please contact Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.

:: more on anti-social behaviour

Dudley home improvement service 

Our home improvement service provides adaptations, essential repairs and energy advice to support vulnerable residents living in the Dudley Borough to keep warm, safe and independent in their homes:

:: more on Dudley home improvement service

Disabled facilities grants

These grants may be available to private tenants, to enable them to adapt their rental property in order to make their life more comfortable. If you or a member of your household has a disability or mobility problem, then call us on 0300 555 2345.

:: more on disabled facilities grants