Apply for an accommodation certificate for immigration
Certain countries require a resident in the UK to provide an accommodation certificate stating that the property they are living in is safe and free from any harmful hazards. This is to ensure any family member or loved one who may be visiting them in the UK remains safe.
The local authority are able to provide you with an accommodation certificate but it will be necessary for a member of our private sector housing team to visit you at your home and carry out an inspection.
What can you expect?
Our officer will visit you at your home and inspect each of the rooms so that he/she can see that:
- the house is free from any serious hazard(s) that may put the health, safety or welfare of any occupant, visitor or any other person at risk; and
- that the property will not become overcrowded when the person or persons live with you.
Confirmation that a property does not cause anyone a hazard will then be put in the accommodation certificate (also known as an immigration or visa entry letter).
Cost and how to apply
The cost - 2022/2023
The cost of an inspection from April 2022 to March 2023 is £200 plus VAT (a total cost of £240) and includes both the inspection and the provision of an accommodation certificate.
How to apply
You can apply electronically for an accommodation certificate by opening the accompanying letter and application form.
The accompanying letter provides further details including the fee payable.
Arranging the inspection
Once the application and full payment have been received, an officer from the Private Sector Housing department will arrange with you to visit your home so that they can conduct a full house inspection.
The inspection is important to confirm the house is safe for everyone to live in and that it will not become overcrowded by another person coming to live there. This is a legal requirement which relates to:
- the Housing Act 2004 - Part 1 (housing conditions) and
- the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
The Housing Act 2004 states a property must be free from Category 1 hazards and the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) states there are 29 hazards the inspector must be sure do not exist in your house e.g. serious mould, damp, excess cold, fire, gas, electrical hazards etc.
- Housing Act 1985 - Overcrowding
Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985 considers overcrowding issues and looks at:
- number of rooms in the house
- number of people in the house
- size of rooms available as permanent sleeping rooms
- ages of the occupants
The inspector must be satisfied the house will not become overcrowded by the addition of an extra person or visiting family/friends.
If you have made an application but after a reasonable period you have still not heard from St Helens Borough Council, or you require more information on any of the above points, please contact us using any one of the following methods:
Telephone: (01744) 676789
Write to: Private Housing Initiatives, St Helens Borough Council, Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens, WA10 1HP