South coast council put its tenants’ safety at risk

The Regulator of Social Housing has found that Adur District Council in West Sussex breached the Home Standard and there was potential for serious detriment to its tenants.

Following a self-referral by Adur DC in February 2023, the regulator confirmed that the council did not meet a range of health and safety requirements in all its tenants’ homes.

Almost one in five fire inspections were overdue, more than 1,500 homes had not had an electrical safety inspection in 10 years and more than 1,500 homes did not have a working smoke alarm. More than 50 asbestos inspections of communal areas were overdue. The council did not have full or accurate data on compliance with the Decent Homes Standard.

The council has started to put in place a programme to put things right including completing outstanding health and safety checks and starting new stock condition surveys. The regulator will monitor the council’s progress closely as it carries out this work.

Kate Dodsworth, Director of Consumer Regulation at RSH, said: “Adur Council has put its tenants at potential risk by failing to carry out all necessary health and safety checks and failing to provide all homes with working smoke alarms. The council referred itself to us when it identified these issues, and we are monitoring it closely as it takes urgent action to put things right.”