Following the Prime Minister’s updates regarding the continuing Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, resurgence of cases and rapid spread of a new variant of the virus and the imposition of new and extended restrictions in 2021, about which further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home, the Private Sector Housing & Public Health team will not be undertaking site visits or property inspections until further notice, except in urgent emergency situations (as determined by the case officer) where appropriate precautions are in place.
This is not a permanent arrangement but will continue until the fall in Covid-19 cases is sufficient enough to allow the restrictions to be lifted or eased by the Government and in turn inspections recommenced by the team. Restrictions may be extended further by the Government depending upon the situation at the relevant time and these will dictate the inspection process and regime undertaken by the team for the foreseeable future.
All staff continue to work from home and have limited access to incoming and outgoing postal mail and correspondence is best via e-mail where possible. Any visits arranged during the pandemic may be subject to cancellation or change at short notice if there are changes to National, local or Council-directed policy, legislation or requirements, or where it is considered that appropriate precautions and/or social-distancing cannot be achieved.
These changes have been made to protect customers and staff from contracting or spreading the virus during these difficult times.
As well as advice on Coronavirus available via other links on the Arun District Council website, the following links may also be of particular use in regards to Housing issues: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleeping/covid-19-guidance-for-hostel-or-day-centre-providers-of-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleeping
The Immigration Authorities may request a sponsor or applicant to provide evidence of the housing condition of their proposed accommodation to accompany their application. This evidence must be from an independent body such as a qualified Surveyor or an Environmental Health Officer.
The accommodation will be inspected and the officer must confirm that the property:
- Is free from Category 1 and Significant Category 2 Hazards under the Housing Act 2004 and associated Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Any Category 1 or significant Category 2 Hazards identified during an inspection will need to be suitably and effectively addressed before any confirmatory letters will be issued.
- Is in reasonable state of repair, and
- Has sufficient space to accommodate both the current occupiers and any additional people who propose to live there.
- That it meets or can meet the Government’s "Decent Homes Standard". According to the Government’s Green Paper "Quality and Choice: A Decent Home for All" (July 2000), 'A decent home is one which is wind and weather tight, warm and has modern facilities’.
The following information will be required to support the inspection:
- Name, Date of Birth and Passport Number of the person seeking entry to the UK,
- Copy of a Tenancy Agreement or Proof of Ownership of the property, and
- Name and Date of Birth of other occupants in the property to be inspected
- Current acceptable Gas Safety Certificate for the property (if rented)
There is a charge of £110
After the inspection, and assuming that all items are satisfactory, you will be sent confirmatory letters which you can use to support the visa or immigration application. A copy of this correspondence will also be sent to the relevant British High Commission in the country where the applicant is coming from (but you should not rely on this as being received for inclusion in your application).
If there are works or actions required to bring the property up to the required standard you will be advised of these requirements and upon their completion and satisfactory re-inspection the confirmatory letters will be provided. In some circumstances, if the items requiring action or work are considered as serious or injurious, the Local Authority may serve formal Notice to ensure the appropriate works are undertaken to an acceptable level.
Should you wish Arun District Council to carry out the inspection and produce a report/letter please telephone us on 01903 737755. Payment will be taken over the telephone and an officer will contact you to arrange a suitable inspection time and date.