Actions to take

Review the recommended general actions, including information about raising awareness and working in partnership


  1. Consider the barriers to implementing building adaptations and how they might be overcome in different tenures and the role of both landlords and tenants in responses.
    • For social tenants, local authorities and housing associations could review their housing stock as part of asset management strategies to see if they own stock in areas likely to be exposed to flooding or heatwaves or types of properties which might put tenants at risk. Modernisation and maintenance programmes should be reviewed and actions incorporated which address energy efficiency and adaptation to improve the resilience of their housing stock to different forms of extreme weather, using tools and measures identified elsewhere in the website. See Using existing tools and guidance and Adapting Buildings
    • For private tenants to adapt their homes they need the support and consent of their landlords. However private landlords may be unwilling to invest in adaptation measures and can be difficult to convince. Where landlords are physically remote from their tenants, issues can be further compounded. One strategy for tackling the problem of adapting homes in the rental sector may be to use selective licensing and associated accreditation schemes (with associated approvals). Shelter’s selective licensing good practice guide for local authorities was produced in conjunction with four local authorities (Manchester City, Salford City, Middlesbrough and Blackpool).1Although the guidance makes no specific mention of climate related adaptation, schemes can cover issues associated with the health and welfare of tenants. An important consideration stressed in the guidance is that powers should only be used as part of a wider housing strategy and must account for the additional burdens placed on landlords and tenants through appropriate resourcing.   
    • Tenants may also consider developing plans and measures through their local Residents Associations. See the Further Resources sections for ideas and information about supporting community led initiatives. 


  1. Consider the opportunities to undertake adaptations which can benefit tenants. Social landlords are obliged to provide Decent Homes and refurbishment carried out through Decent Homes initiatives can offer an opportunity for retrofitting social housing to adapt to climate change at the same time. Further information on building adaptation is available elsewhere in the website. A range of case studies is available in the Further Resources section illustrating what can be done, e.g. by Octavia Housing and by Salix Homes in Salford. Additional resources relating to flooding is available from national agencies for England, Scotland and Wales. Resources and advice are also available from the National Flood Forum.


  1. Social housing providers could consider opportunities to support insurance with rent schemes where these might enable tenants to access affordable flood insurance as part of wider insurance provision in a cost effective way.


  1. Consider strengthening measures which can be taken to identify and take action against sub-standard housing, particularly where tenants are unlikely to report issues for themselves. For example, Hounslow have used a one-off grant from DCLG to carry out street-by-street surveys to identify misuse of sub-standard outbuildings by private landlords. By September 2013, this had led to 79 enforcement actions.