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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Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District Ltd (CHADD) is a small charitable housing association providing a range of housing options for people who need support for them to live in the community. They have over 27 years experience in providing supported housing to single people, older persons and people with special needs.
They will provide OUTREACH support to ensure tenants maintain their tenancies in the following ways:
Housing benefit claims
Registering with GPs
Providing links to other agencies
Advising of services available to tenants in the area
Encouraging tenants to access appropriate education and training
Working towards employment opportunities
The Outreach Team can meet with you, one to one to suit your needs. The service is free to the user and is funded by Dudley MBC Supporting People Grant.
If you are interested in finding out more about the service, an information leaflet is available - CHADD Outreach - We're here to help. CHADD take referrals from other agencies or you can contact them direct for help on 01384 864232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Private rented property is advertised in many ways, including in the press, shop windows, estate agents and on internet sites. At Dudley Council we hold a list of approved and accredited landlords which we can provide upon request. The proforma below can be completed to request this information.
:: request for housing advice
The Association of Residential Letting Agents can also help provide details of local letting agents.
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 our interactive tenants handbook
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.
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
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.
If you’re struggling to pay your rent, you may be able to claim benefits in order to help you manage. The local housing allowance was introduced from 7 April 2008 – it is a new way of working out housing benefit for tenants of private landlords. You can get further advice from our team or the Benefits Shop located at Priory Street, Dudley, call 01384 812639 or visit the following webpages.
:: local housing allowance
After 6 April 2007 landlords requesting rent deposits must protect them using one of the government schemes available. Within 14 days of taking your deposit your landlord should have advised you of the authorised scheme it is registered with and how to apply for the release of the deposit. All schemes have a dispute resolution service. They will decide whether and how much of the deposit should be returned to you.
:: more on tenancy deposit protection
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 our Community Safety Team on 0300 555 2345.
:: more on anti-social behaviour
Our home improvement service offers a range of products and services to Dudley Borough homeowners and private rental tenants - who are responsible for their rental homes maintenance. We provide a complete home repairs, improvements and adaptations service and are part of a national network of over 300 home improvement agencies.
We can help you to improve your rental home, adapt it to better suit your needs if you have a disabled family member or to access funds to help you to repair your rental property. Our services include:
- Arranging property repairs, home improvements or adaptations on your behalf
- Providing help and professional advice on finding suitable finance for these works
- Providing general advice, assistance and ongoing support throughout the process
:: more on Dudley home improvement service
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 01384 813090.
:: more on disabled facilities grants