Rent Smart Devon 2024

East Devon District Council Co-hosted Rent Smart Devon (sponsored by Tozers LLP) an event for private landlords on 23 May 2023. Our Financial Resilience and housing option team were represented to encourage landlords to work with the Council. And the Environmental Health Private Sector Housing team were on hand to talk about retrofit and energy efficiency advice, dealing with damp and mould and home adaptations for residents with disabilities.

At full capacity; with over 250 landlords visiting the event from the four authorities of East Devon; Mid Devon; Exeter and Teignbridge.

Our partners join us at Rent Smart Devon

  • Lendology the Council low-cost loans company for homeowners.
  • Exeter Community Energy
  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue.

And a wide range of exhibitors attended representing landlord support services from agents to tax advice. Access the virtual Exhibitor Guide to see an overview of the local organisations and businesses who attended the event.

Four presentations and questions and answer sessions were held throughout the day:

Renters Reform Bill – Dick Scott - Consultant

A Landlord’s Retrofit Journey: The need for impartial advice and a ‘whole house’ approach – Exeter Community Energy

Damp & Mould – Law & Practice – Tozers LLP

Property Tax Update - Peplows


Park Home Residents Advice Service

If you have any questions or any other queries about your rights and responsibilities as a park home resident, please contact the Leasehold Advisory Service on 020 7832 2525 or book a park homes advice session: Contact – Leasehold Advisory Service (

Leasehold Advisory Service Ltd Registered in England no 3296985 Registered office: 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF Telephone 020 7832 2500


Flooding in and around Private Water Supplies

Flood water can carry unwanted and potentially harmful pollution. These can enter your private water supply if the source and tanks are not protected against contaminated surface water.

If you think your private water has been affected by flooding, then there are options available to you:

  • Temporarily boil water to kill any bacteria that may have entered the supply via the flood water.
  • Check all source and storage chambers are tightly sealed and in good repair to prevent flood water gaining access to your water.
  • Check the UV treatment is working; the bulb is lit; the quartz tube is clean and that the pre filtration is sufficient to protect the UV unit.
  • If the pre filter cartridge is dirty following the flood, it must be changed.
  • A water engineer can carry out a chlorinated flush of the system following the flood to ensure that any bacteria that could be in the pipework is killed.
  • East Devon District Council can conduct sampling to ensure wholesomeness of the water.

For more advice and information and a list of Water Engineers please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.

Spray Foam Insulation Guidance

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched an impartial and comprehensive guide written by specialists to update residents on the latest guidance about the use of spray foam as a method of insulating residential properties.

Thermal improvements can be made to many homes.  If your main goals are to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions, then installing insulation and draught-proofing can achieve this. Spray foam is just one type of thermal insulation, which can be applied to various parts of a building as part of a wider thermal improvement plan.

However, this popular form of insulation, which has been widely used for several decades, can all too often be marketed as an easy and simplistic fix. In fact the installation of spray foam should really be seen as a significant and fundamental alteration to a home which needs careful consideration and planning.

The RICS spray foam guide aim at homeowners and landlords on the pros and cons of spray foam installation. Following many years of research into the effects of foam insulation material,  helping residents in  making informed decisions.

This informative guide covers topics such as what effects spray foam might have on a property’s roof structure, thermal performance and value - do’s and don’ts when installing insulation to your home, and how RICS-accredited members can help assess your property.

RICS release new spray foam consumer guide

Make Things Right - Social Housing Complaints

Social housing should be safe, secure and well maintained. If you have an issue with your landlord, it’s now easier to make things right.

How do I make a complaint?

If you’re unhappy with the service from your landlord you should make a complaint to them first. Social Housing Complaints – If you're unhappy with the service from your social housing provider, make it right

Complaints could include:

  • repairs and maintenance
  • issues with communal areas
  • health and safety issues
  • anti-social behaviour
  • customer service

Be assured, you shouldn’t be penalised for making a complaint and it will not affect your tenancy.

Your landlord will typically have 2 stages to their complaints procedure, and each stage takes around 10-20 working days for them to respond. If you are unhappy with your landlords response you may contact the Housing Ombudsman Service.

Advice on how to make an effective complaint can be found in this guide.

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

Guide for tenants: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 - GOV.UK (

The Act applies to the social and private rented sectors. It allows tenants to take their own actions against their landlord if their rented home is not fit for habitation. Landlords must ensure that their property, including any common parts of the building, is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout.

Landlords must make sure that their property is free of hazards which are so serious that the dwelling is not reasonably suitable for occupation. Most landlords take their responsibility seriously and do this already.

Where a landlord fails to do so, the tenant has the right to take action in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation. The  court can require the landlord to take action to reduce or remove the hazard, and / or pay damages to compensate the tenant.

From 20 March 2020, everyone who has a secure or assured tenancy, or a statutory tenancy, or a private periodic tenancy, can use the Homes Act regardless of when their tenancy began. Anyone who is still on the fixed term of a private tenancy that began before 20 March 2019 cannot use the Act until the end of that fixed term.