Advice for private tenants

What is the role of the Private Sector Housing Team?

We provide support and advice to privately renting tenants, homeowners, and private landlords. The team work towards ensuring warm, safe, healthy homes for all private tenure residents.

Poor housing has a direct link to poor health, comfort, and mental wellbeing. Hence, we work to improve poor housing conditions which impact upon this.

What can we help with?

  • fire safety
  • ineffective or lack of heating
  • damp and mould growth
  • trip and falling hazards
  • dangerous or defective electrics
  • overcrowding
  • structural stability
  • inadequate ventilation
  • inadequate lighting
  • water supply
  • drainage

How can we help?

Where any properties (HMO or single occupancy) are found to have problems, we will first try to resolve these with the landlord(s) through talking to them and by writing to them. However, where the landlord(s) fail to comply, we can serve legal notices requiring necessary work to improve or make the property safe.

In the first instance, you should report issues to your landlord, preferably in writing, and allow them to respond. If you feel your landlord's response is unreasonable, please contact the Private Sector Housing team using MySouthend or telephone 01702 215000 andand ask for Private Sector Housing.

We may:

  • contact you to ask for further details about your report
  • talk to your landlord in the first instance about any reports made
  • visit your home particularly if there appears to be a serious risk or immediate danger.


Harassment and illegal eviction

The law makes it an offence to:

  • do acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant or
    anyone living with them; or
  • persistently withdraw or withhold services for which the tenant has
    a reasonable need to live in the premises as a home.

For further information read 'My landlord wants me out' or contact the Private Sector Housing Team if you are concerned about the behaviour of your landlord. If you believe your landlord is behaving violently, you should contact the police.


When you have any problems with your privately rented property you should:

  • send details of the problems in writing to your landlord or letting agent
  • if your landlord or letting agent is a member of SEAL (South East Alliance of Landlords, Agents and Residents) you should inform SEAL of the problems at or ring 07722 600 639
  • if the problems remain unsolved, email us at We will need you to include the details about the problems and your contact details.

Complaints about Council owned properties which are managed by South Essex Homes can be reported to us via:

Contact Housing Advice and Choice Based Letting

Telephone: 01702 215002

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