Home Resident Public Health and Housing

Public Health and Housing

Public Health and Housing

It is our objective to help improve housing and general living conditions throughout the council area.

Our officers deal with complaints and enquiries about a range of housing issues including:

  • providing advice about rent books, tenancy deposits and tenancy statements
  • inspecting properties to make sure they are suitable to live in and issuing certificates of fitness (where applicable)
  • investigating complaints such as smell, littering and general nuisances
  • Providing advice on carbon minoxide, damp/condensation
  • Dealing with complaints regarding harassment and unlawful eviction
  • Providing advice on the Landlord Registration Scheme

We can also take legal action against landlords if the condition of their property creates an unhealthy environment for tenants. This covers privately-rented properties and those owned by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or other housing associations.

A nuisance is in general terms, a disturbance which substantially interferes with a person’s use or enjoyment of, property. However, only certain matters may constitute a statutory nuisance and these are set out in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. Officers from the Environmental Health Department can offer advice on whether any specific issue may constitute a nuisance.

We do not deal with the allocation of social housing – this is the role of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

High Hedges

The High Hedges Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 requires local authorities to adjudicate on complaints about high hedges that are alleged to be blocking light to a neighbour’s property. If the hedge(s) is found to be higher than what the legislation and guidance deem acceptable, the hedge owner may be asked to cut it down to a reasonable height. If you would like some advice or would like to make a complaint, please contact us.

Pest Control

The council do not have a pest control service however information leaflets on common pests are available. We can also provide additional advice on eradicating problem rodent and insect infestations, please contact us for further details.

Southern Safer Homes provides free home safety checks to those considered a higher risk of having a home accident; people aged 65 and over; families with children under the age of 5; vulnerable adults and children; those with a disability or other special needs.

On request by an individual or referral by an agency, a Home Safety Officer will visit your home to offer information and advice on how to avoid accidents, identifying hazards in the home likely to cause accidents. In certain circumstances, free safety equipment may be provided.

With your consent, other agencies can be contacted on your behalf, such as NI Fire & Rescue Service (fitting of smoke alarms), NIHE (housing issues/repairs), SHSCT  Occupational Therapy Dept (falls risk), Council Community Safety (fear of crime) and Affordable Warmth Scheme (heating and insulation), etc.

If you feel you are eligible for a Home Safety visit, contact us on 0300 0300 900, asking to be put through to the Environmental Health Department in your area.

Safety information.

There is an extensive range of information relating to Safety in and around the Home, specifically for Older Persons and Under 5s. For information and advice on topics listed below, view the Southern Trust’s Accident Prevention Page
Southern Trust

  • Alcohol and Home Accidents
  • Baby and Child Safety around Dogs & Responsible Dog Ownership
  • Blind cord safety. Leaflets in a range of Languages. Video titled ‘Blind Truth’
  • Button Battery Dangers – Keep out of Sight and Reach From Children
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Childhood Poisoning – Liquitabs and other Dangers in the Home
  • E-Cigarettes – The Safety Risks
  • Electrical Safety in Your Home
  • Farm Safety – Owners, Workers, Children
  • Gas Safety
  • Hair Straighteners – Dangers to Babies and Young Children
  • Nappy Sack Safety and Risk of Suffocation
  • Parent Home Safety Information Leaflet
  • Reducing Fire Risk
  • TV and Furniture Tip-Over Accidents
  • Water Safety – Swimming Pools, Water Safety at Home

To view the Southern Trust’s link to Falls Prevention Clinics and Falls Prevention Directory click here

The Falls Directory is helpful if you want to know more about falls. It contains information to help understand why falls occur, the health conditions that are linked to falls, reducing your risk of falling and what to do if you experience a fall.