The Decent Homes Standard

The Decent Homes Standard is a government-set standard for council housing. The standard describes a decent home as one that is fit to live in, in a reasonable state of repair, has reasonably modern facilities and services, and is warm and weatherproof.

There are four requirements that all have to be met:

1) It meets current statutory standards for housing
This means that the home has no serious hazards and meets health and safety guidelines. Very few of the city's council homes will fail on this standard as issues will always be picked up as emergency repairs.

 2) It must be in a reasonable state of repair
This standard includes basic elements of a well maintained home such as good windows, roofs, and electrical wiring.

A home will fail this test if its bathroom is at least 40 years old and its kitchen at least 30 years old - and the facilities in both rooms are in poor condition.

3) It must have reasonably modern facilities
Homes that fail to meet this criteria are those that lack three or more of these:

  • 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 insulation against external noise where noise is a problem
  • adequate size and layout of common areas for blocks of flats

This means that in most cases kitchens and bathrooms will not require replacement under this test as properties will generally meet at least four of the criteria above.

4) It must have a reasonable degree of thermal comfort
This would include good insulation and upgrading or provision of central heating.