Housing Enforcement

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: Where can I receive information and advice?

Answer: Contact the Law Centre, Exchange House, St Cross Lane, Newport, tel 01983 524715, e-mail info@iowlc.org.uk or the Housing Services team at 7 High Street Newport tel 01983 821000, email housing@iow.gov.uk. Alternatively contact the CAB or Shelter (www.shelter.org.uk)

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Question: Can you help with Sewage, Sewers, Sewerage, Drains and drainage.

Answer: Domestic sewer and drainage problems are dealt with by the Housing Department. They can offer advice to customers and also enforce the laws covering drainage and sewers. Tel. 821000 and ask for Housing Dept.
Sewerage pipes and manhole covers in the highway are usually controlled by Southern Water Tel. 526611.
Gulley drains in the kerbside gutter are the responsibility of the Highways dept. Tel. 823777

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Question: Key Facts of dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Answer: • Everyone using a fuel burning appliance is at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Carbon monoxide causes fatalities irrespective of age or sex.
• Long term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can have debilitating effects.
• Carbon monoxide may impair foetal development.
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Question: What is Carbon Monoxide?

Answer: Carbon monoxide (chemical symbol, CO) is a highly poisonous gas produced when any fossil fuel (gas, coal, oil etc) burns incompletely. It is difficult to detect as it is colourless, odourless and has no taste.
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Question: Who is at risk from Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Answer: Carbon monoxide is the number one cause of accidental poisoning in the home across most of the western world including, the UK, USA, France etc. RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) reports more than 20 deaths a year from this silent killer, plus around 200 serious incidents each year where people only narrowly survive carbon monoxide poisoning.
Experts believe that every year in the UK, many thousands of people suffer non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning and the majority of these cases go undiagnosed.
All humans and animals are at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning and those most at risk are young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory problems.
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Question: What signs should I look our for and what can Carbon Monoxide do to me?

Answer: • Gas flames that burn orange or yellow instead of blue.
• Sooty stains on or just above appliances.
• Solid fuel appliances that burn slowly or extinguish.

Carbon monoxide bonds with the haemoglobin in your blood and subsequently replaces the oxygen needed to
sustain your body’s functions. It can cause fatalities where a high dose of Carbon Monoxide is present, or can build up over a period of time causing symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, confusion, disorientation, fatigue, and chest pain. Symptoms can often be confused with influenza and sometimes depression.
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Question: I have a complaint about my housing condition (cramped/damp etc.). Do you do home visits?

Answer: Island HomeFinder do not provide this service. If you have a repair issue in your property, you should initially contact your landlord as they may be responsible for the maintenance and repair. For independent advice regarding your rights, you can contact the Law Centre at Exchange House, St Cross Lane, Newport, by telephone on 01983 524715 or by emailing info@iowlc.org.uk. If you have contacted your landlord but repair issues remain outstanding, please visit the web pages for the Housing Renewal Team. - Related Link

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Question: My landlord won’t do any repairs, what can I do?

Answer: Contact the Housing Renewal team at County Hall, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight; by telephone: 01983 823040; or email housing@iow.gov.uk

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Question: I am a tenant and I am concerned that my landlords appliances are defective.

Answer: Do not use the appliance. Contact your landlord immediately and ask them to check it.
Landlords are required by law to have their gas appliances and pipework checked, by a GAS SAFE registered engineer, annually and supply a copy of the results of that check to any existing or new tenants.
If you have reported the problems to your landlord and he/she is not providing a satisfactory response contact the Housing Renewal team at County Hall, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight; by telephone: 01983 823040; or email housing@iow.gov.uk - Related Link

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Question: What can I do to protect myself against Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Answer: • Always ensure your appliances are regularly serviced by a qualified engineer (make sure they are Gas Safe registered if you have a gas appliance). This will reduce the chance of a carbon monoxide leak, but will not
eliminate it, as appliances can break down and chimneys become blocked between service dates.
• Ensure your home is properly ventilated; never block vents.
• Use professionals to service any other fossil-fuel burning appliances such as oil or coal burning stoves annually.
• Ensure all chimneys and flues are regularly swept and kept clean.
• Fix carbon monoxide detectors in your home; these can be purchased from most DIY-type stores. For added peace of mind, it is highly recommended that the carbon monoxide detector is BS EN50291 approved
and Kitemarked.
• Ensure that such detectors are installed, maintained and replaced according to packaging instructions.
• Be aware that high levels of carbon monoxide can be found in other buildings; for instance at this time of year you may be considering a holiday in the UK or abroad. While the responsibility to check safety lies with the owner of the holiday apartment and holiday operator, you may find it reassuring to pack a small (credit card-sized) carbon monoxide warning card, put it up, go out for an hour or two and check it on return. If the gas is present a small disc in the centre of the card turns grey, then black. The cards cost about £10 and last for a year – a small price to pay for the safety of you and your family.
• Carbon monoxide detectors are available in most hardware outlets and DIY type stores. - Related Link

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