If you rent a home you have a basic right to repairs and both you and your landlord have specific responsibilities.
Some tenants, such as those with an assured shorthold tenancy have little security and you should be aware that you could be served with a notice to leave by your landlord if you make a complaint about repairs, so always seek advice first.
All landlords must comply with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Section 11. This means they must:
The landlord of a house in multiple occupation (HMO) has additional responsibilities, including fire safety and management of the property. Please see our Houses in Multiple Occupation pages for more information.
When you believe your landlord is responsible for a problem do not stop paying rent. Your obligation to pay rent as a tenant is independent of the landlord's responsibility to carry out repairs.
If you have a problem:
It is important that you:
You could consider enclosing copies of estimates for the repair from reliable trades people and ask that the work be completed by a certain date.
Check with your landlord if they are happy for you to do this. Some landlords provide contact details of local trades people that they expect you to use. You could then get the work done and deduct the cost from future rent or have the invoices sent to the landlord.
Remember if you do the work yourself you cannot charge labour costs.
Keep copies of any correspondence relating to the disrepair. Where necessary take photographs of any damage that occurs as a result of the defect.
You have a responsibility to inform any visitors to the property about any defect that could cause them injury.
If the landlord fails to respond to several requests to do repairs you should contact us using the telephone number provided and ask for advice from an Environmental Health Officer.
You can choose to take the landlord to court but this option can be expensive if you are not entitled to Legal Aid.
If you withhold rent to pay for repairs your landlord could take you to court and may seek possession on arrears grounds. You will need to make a decision whether or not to pursue your repairing rights if there is a real danger of subsequently losing your home.
Always seek advice first.