Decent Home Standards

A decent home is defined as one which meets all of the following four criteria:

It meets the current statutory minimum standard for housing. At present this is the fitness standard. Dwellings below the standard are those defined as unfit under current legislation. The requirements of the fitness standard constitute the minimum deemed necessary for a dwelling house (including a house in multiple occupation) to be fit for human habitation.

They are that a dwelling house should:

  • be free from serious disrepair
  • be structurally stable
  • be free from dampness prejudicial to the health of the occupants
  • have adequate provision for lighting, heating and ventilation
  • have an adequate piped supply of wholesome water
  • have an effective system for the drainage of foul, waste and surface water
  • have a suitably located WC for exclusive use of the occupants
  • have a bath or shower and wash-hand basin, with hot and cold water; and
  • have satisfactory facilities for the preparation and cooking of food including a sink with hot and cold water.

It is in a reasonable state of repair. Dwellings failing on this point will be those where either:

  • one or more key building components are old and need replacing (where key means external components, electrics and gas heating source ); or
  • two or more other building components are old and need replacing.

It has reasonably modern facilities and services. Dwellings failing on this point are those that lack three or more of the following:

  • 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 WC
  • Adequate noise insulation (where external noise/neighbourhood noise is a problem)
  • Adequate size and layout of common areas for blocks of flats.

Provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort. Dwellings failing the standard are those where the occupants are unable to heat their homes to a reasonable level – defined as those who are fuel poor.