The Government has set a minimum standard for all council homes to reach as soon as possible.

Our improvement programme is our biggest ever investment, and will be complete by 2015 - improving the lives of thousands of tenants and their families. 

The Government defines 'decent' as a home which is wind and weather tight, warm and has modern facilities.

A decent home must meet these criteria:

  1. Be in a reasonable state of repair
  2. Have reasonably modern facilities and services
  3. Provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort
  4. Meet the current statutory minimum standards for housing.

Reasonable state of repair

Properties fail to meet the standard if either:

  • One or more of the key building components are old and because of their condition need replacing or major repair, or
  • Two or more of the other building components are old and, because of their condition, need replacing or major repair.

Key building components are:

  • External roofs
  • Roof structure and covering
  • Windows/doors
  • Chimneys
  • Central heating boilers
  • Gas fires
  • Storage heaters
  • Electrics.

Other building components include kitchens and bathrooms.

Reasonably modern facilities and services

Properties fail to meet the standard if they don't have either:

  • A reasonably modern kitchen (20 years old or less)
  • A kitchen with adequate space and layout
  • A reasonably modern bathroom (30 years old or less)
  • An appropriately located bathroom and toliet
  • Adequate insulation against external noise (where external noise is a problem)
  • Adequate size and layout of common areas for blocks of flats.

Reasonable degree of thermal comfort

This means the property must have both effective insulation and efficient heating.

Current statutory minimum standard for housing

With the implementation of Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 in April 2006, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) replaced the Housing Fitness Standard as the criterion of the Decent Homes Standard.

The HHSRS is a risk assessment procedure, looking at potential hazards and their likelihood of occurrence. The HHSRS does not set a standard.

Guidance on the implementation of the Decent Homes Standard is available from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Last updated: Wed 20 August, 2014 @ 11:55