What we do to improve housing across Bristol.

Our Enforcement Policy

The pdf Private Housing Enforcement Policy 2016 (Revised 2017) (137 KB)  sets out how the Private Housing Service will use its enforcement powers.

Civil Penalty Policy

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 gave councils powers to deal with rogue landlords. These include Civil Penalty Notices (CPNs).

Our pdf Civil Penalty Policy (271 KB)  sets out how we will determine the level of financial penalty in individual cases, once the decision to impose a Civil Penalty Notice has been made.

The pdf Civil Penalty Policy Addendum (172 KB)  sets out how officers will use the Civil Penalty Policy when determining the level of financial penalty under The Electrical Safety Standards Regulations in the Private Rented Sector (England) 2020.

Empty Property Policy

The  pdf Empty Property Policy 2022 (366 KB) sets out the Private Housing Service's current operational approach to dealing with privately owned empty residential properties.

Property licensing - fit and proper policy

Under the Housing Act 2004, if the Council is to issue a selective licence, an additional HMO licence or a mandatory HMO licence we must be satisfied that the proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence. 

We must also be satisfied that the proposed manager of the house is a fit and proper person to be the manager of the house. If not, the licence must be refused unless other arrangements can be agreed.

This  pdf Property licensing - fit and proper policy (80 KB)  sets out how we make that decision.

Enforcement Policy for the Housing Health and Safety Hazard Rating System

Bristol City Council is required to use the Health and Housing Health and Safety Hazard Rating System (HHSRS) as the basis for tackling the worst housing conditions.

This document sets out how the we should use these enforcement powers to ensure safe and healthy environments in Bristol's private housing.

Policy for the Enforcement of the Domestic Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 gave councils powers to tackle the least energy-efficient properties in England and Wales. This covers properties that have an F or G rating on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Our pdf Policy for the Enforcement of the Domestic Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency (212 KB) sets out how we will enforce these regulations.

Regulatory Services Enforcement Policy

The primary function of local government regulatory activity is to protect the public, the environment and groups such as consumers, residents and tenants, workers and businesses.

The Enforcement Policy helps to promote efficient and effective approaches to regulatory inspection and enforcement, which improve regulatory outcomes without imposing unnecessary burdens on business and others subject to regulation.

Banning Orders and rogue landlords and property agents database 

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 gave councils powers to deal with rogue landlords. These include Banning Orders. It also includes a national database of rogue landlords and property agents, which may also include people:

  • convicted of a banning order offence
  • who've received two or more relevant financial penalties

Our pdf Banning Order Policy (166 KB)  sets out our decision making process on when to pursue an application to the First-tier Tribunal for a banning order.

pdf The Rogue landlord database and time period of a banning order policy (342 KB) sets out how we determine the length of time an entry should remain on the database and how long we'll ask First-tier Tribunals to make a Banning Order for.

Regulators' Code

Nearly all regulators, including local authorities, must have regard to the Regulators Code when carrying out their activities.

In the Private Housing Service we will ensure we follow the code when developing polices, operations procedures and when we undertake our regulatory activities.


We have published a set of clear service standards, setting out what those we regulate should expect from us.

We will publish details of our performance against our service standards, including feedback received from those we regulate and data relating to complaints about us and appeals against our decisions.

This will be published annually, and will be available on this page shortly.

Financial assistance for private landlords

We offer loans to private landlords to help with necessary improvements to meet licensing standards or to improve energy efficiency, in privately rented properties. See the pdf Financial Assistance Schedule (567 KB)  .

Statement of Principles

pdf The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (as amended) Statement of Principles (116 KB)

The Tenant Fees Act

The Tenant Fees Act came into force on 1 June 2019.  It explains which fees can be charged to a tenant by a landlord or letting agent, these are described in the Act as permitted payments. Fees that are not permitted are described in the Act as prohibited payments. 

If a prohibited payment has been charged and the landlord or agent refuses to acknowledge the fee is unlawful or refuses to refund the illegally charged fee, then we are able to investigate and take enforcement action where appropriate.

The policy for financial penalties under the Tenant Fees Act can be found on our National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team enforcement page.