Disrepair Information for Tenants
If you are a tenant, your landlord must, by law, ensure that the accommodation you occupy is fit for habitation, is properly managed and meets the required standards.
The landlord will be responsible for the repair of:
- The structure and exterior of the property
- Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations in the dwelling, kitchens, etc
- Installations for heating water and space heating in the dwelling
As a general rule the landlord is only liable to carry out repairs that he should have known about. If you need a repair, telephone or write to your landlord so that your landlord can arrange to carry out the work. It is a good idea to put your request in writing, either by letter or by email, and this is necessary if you later have to rely on the protection of the regulations about retaliatory eviction. Further information is available on various external websites – see Useful Links below.
Below are links to two letters that you can use. We suggest you send the first letter to request the repairs and if you do not get a response within 14 days then send the second letter.
Landlords should normally fix serious hazards such as a broken boiler or an electricity failure quickly but less serious hazards such as a dripping tap or broken kitchen unit doors can be repaired over a longer timescale.
You should be aware that as a tenant you also have repairing obligations. Some may be specified within your tenancy, so make sure you check. Others may occur as a result of damage or misuse caused by you or your visitors.
As a tenant you are required to use the property in a responsible way. For example this would include making sure that you ventilate the property well and do not dry clothes on radiators which will lead to moisture and eventually damp and mould. The Private Sector Housing Team are often called to properties where the tenant is claiming damp and mould as a disrepair issue; very often the damp and mould has been caused by tenant lifestyle. A leaflet giving advice on controlling damp and mould growth can be found below in Related documents.
If you do not hear back from your landlord or if your landlord refuses to carry out the repairs, further action may need to be taken and you should contact the Private Sector Housing Team. If required, they may contact your landlord and, where necessary, may use powers under the Housing Act 2004 to take action to ensure that your landlord carries out essential repairs.
You can contact the Private Sector Housing team by:
- completing a Housing Disrepair Complaint Form
- telephoning the team direct on 01205 314563
- telephoning the Rogue Landlord hotline in confidence on 01205 314333
Tenants also have rights under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. This applies whether you rent from a private landlord or from a housing association. Further information can be found in Useful Links. However, you should still contact the Private Sector Housing Team to report the issues.