How to report repairs to a private landlord
Your landlord is responsible for the following general repairs:-
- The main structure of the property including walls, stairs, bannisters, roof, windows and external doors
- Sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains
- Heating and hot water
- Chimneys and ventilation
- Electrical wiring.
Once repairs have been carried out, your landlord must put right any damage to internal decorations caused by the repair. Your landlord is only responsible for repairing or replacing faulty appliances if they have provided them (for example a cooker or washing machine). Your landlord is not responsible for appliances you own. You must report all repairs to your landlord, to give them an opportunity to carry out the repairs.
How to contact your landlord
We advise you write to your landlord first to explain the repairs and the impact they are causing, for example to your health. If you landlord does not reply or carry out the repairs, you can contact them again. Example letters you may wish to use can be found in the relevant documents section below.
If you write, email, or speak to your landlord, or if he visits at any time, you must keep records. It is important to keep a list of all dates and times.
When to call the council about repairs
If you have told your landlord and they have failed to make an attempt to carry out the repairs, you can contact the council. The council will arrange an appointment to carry out an inspection. They will invite the landlord to attend. This gives the council an opportunity to discuss the repairs with the landlord and arrange for them to be completed by an agreed date.
My Landlord might evict me if I report repairs to the council
If you tenancy started or was renewed after the 1 October 2015, you will have added protection to prevent the landlord evicting you. Assured Shorthold Tenancies agreed before the 1 October 2015 are not currently protected. If you have a tenancy which started before 1 October 2015, you may wish to call the council for advice and support if you are afraid your landlord will evict you.
If your tenancy started or was renewed after 1 October 2015, you must be able to evidence that:
- You contacted the landlord in writing or by email to report the repairs
- You contacted the council because the landlord failed to carry out the repairs
- The council sent the landlord a notice asking them to carry out the repairs or carried out emergency repairs.
Once the landlord has been served an improvement notice from the council, a Section 21 notice asking you to leave the property, becomes invalid. If an Improvement notice is served before a court hearing to evict you, the court will decide against the landlord and you won’t have to leave the property. If the council doesn’t serve a notice before the court hearing, the court will not be able to protect you. This means if you are served with a Section 21 notice, you must call the council to let them know.
After six months, the landlord can serve you a valid Section 21 notice to leave the property. The new rules will not protect you if you do not pay your rent.
The tenant must take reasonable steps to keep the property adequately ventilated and heated to prevent damage from condensation. They must take reasonable steps to prevent frost damage occurring to any pipes or other installations in the property (assuming these are adequately insulated at the start of the tenancy).