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Private sector housing

The council is working with landlords, agents and tenants to encourage responsible renting, to promote a positive image of private renting and to support good practice.

COVID-19 Government guidance for landlords and tenants

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has now issued guidance for landlords and tenants, in the private and social rented sectors, in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Empty Properties

Empty properties are a wasted resource both for the community and the owner; they reduce the supply of housing and represent a loss of income for the owner. They are often an eyesore that can blight an area, can attract antisocial behaviour, cause concern to neighbours and the local community and affect the value of surrounding properties.

The Private Sector Housing Team is responsible for addressing issues caused by long-term privately-owned empty properties in the district and bringing them back into use. 

If you wish to report a property that may be empty, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team

Refugee Crisis

The Council currently provide support to Syrian refugees resettled into the district through the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme.

If you would like to offer goods or services, then please contact the Refugee Council at to find out how you may be able to assist.

For any other queries or concerns relating to how the scheme is run in the St Albans district please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.

Any persons wanting to consider fostering support for young refugees can find further information on the following Hertfordshire County Council Webpages.


The Council’s Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy outlines our approach to securing compliance with the law in relation to Private Sector Housing. The policy sets out what owners, landlords, their agents and private sector tenants can expect from St Albans District Council. This policy is reviewed on a regular basis and revisions to legislation will be incorporated into the policy as and when the need arises.

Property Inspections for Immigration Clearance

We offer property inspections to support immigration applications within St Albans. There is a charge for this service, which needs to be paid before an inspection is undertaken. The current fee for this service is £170.

The inspection

We inspect properties on request to ensure they are suitable, safe and will not become overcrowded with additional residents. 
You will need to show us around the property outlining who lives in the house and which rooms each person sleeps in.

We also need to know the name, age, sex and family relationship of all the intended occupants.  We will check this information against the electoral roll and our council tax records.

We will also need information about your right to occupy the property.

  • If you are a tenant we will need a copy of your tenancy agreement and your current gas safety certificate if the property has gas
  • If you are an owner we will verify this with the land registry
  • If you are living with your parents or a sibling we will need a letter from the owner giving permission for you and the person you are sponsoring to live at the property.

We may ask further questions and require additional documentation if we are unclear about anything we have seen or been told.

What happens next

Following our investigations a letter will be sent to the inspected address usually within 28 days of our visit stating the following:

  • Your name and the names of those seeking entry into the UK
  • The date of birth of those intending to occupy the property
  • The address of the inspected property
  • The type of property and how it is occupied and by whom
  • Whether the property contained any hazards at the time of our inspection
  • Whether the property would be overcrowded by the addition of someone seeking entry to the UK
  • Our contact details for further information

The fee must be paid in advance and can be paid by card or cheque. Card payments can be made by calling 01727 819 221.

When you pay your fee you should quote the address of the property to be inspected and code 2040 803 276.

After you have paid the fee you should contact the Private Sector Housing Team to arrange an inspection appointment.

For any other queries regarding Immigration Entry Clearance Property inspections please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.  

For more information

Please contact the Private Sector Housing Team