What To Do If Your Landlord Won't Fix Your Home

Do you have a question about a housing disrepair claim? See our answers below to the most frequently asked questions we're asked. Something you can't find? Don't hesitate to get in touch - our friendly team will be delighted to help.

What is housing disrepair?

Just as the name suggests, housing disrepair is when your home has fallen into an unacceptable condition and your landlord, having been told of the disrepair, fails to repair it. Housing Disrepair can apply to private, council and housing association rental situations.

What rights do I have as a tenant?

Under your tenancy agreement and statutory law you have the right to quiet enjoyment of your property and reasonable living standards and to live comfortably in your home. Your home must be free of hazards or damage. It should not cause your undue stress, inconvenience or harm. You and your belongings should be safe. You should not have to live with disrepair.

What are the obligations of my landlord?

Your landlord is responsible for fixing most things in your property, excluding some smaller issues such as e.g. lightbulbs. This applies to both private, council and housing association landlords.

The landlord must look after:

  • The structure and exterior of the building, including the drains, gutters and external pipes, roof, external doors and windows
  • Keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences
  • Heating and hot water
  • Chimneys and ventilation
  • Gas appliances
  • Electrical wiring
  • Communal parts of the building, such as entrance halls, communal stairways and shared kitchens

If damage to internal decorations are caused by repair problems or arise during the repair process, your landlord must also fix this.

Other important responsibilities of your landlord include:

  • Health hazards, such as damp & mould or pests & vermin. Your home should be free of any hazards that can affect the health and safety of anyone in your household
  • Gas safety. Gas appliances must be safe and inspected each year by a Gas Safe Engineer
  • Electrical appliances must be safe, as well as the electrical wiring in your home
  • Fire safety - there must be smoke alarms on each floor of your home and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with a coal fire or wood burning stove. All furniture must also meet fire safety regulations

If you have any such problems in your rental home, it is imperative you contact your landlord as soon as possible.

What are my obligations as a tenant?

It is your responsibility to:

  • Use your home in a responsible way
  • Keep it clean
  • Not damage the property and ensure guest’s don’t either
  • Carry out minor maintenance such as changing light bulbs and fuses and replacing smoke alarm batteries
  • Keep chimneys and ventilation free of blockages

The specifics of what you are responsible for will be set out in your tenancy agreement.

Can I claim compensation if my landlord fails to fulfil their obligations?

You can make a claim for compensation if your landlord has failed to repair t

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