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 of the property
- Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations in the dwelling, kitchens, etc
- Installations for heating and electrics 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. You should keep a record of the letter or email that you send.
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 Housing Standards 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. Further advice can be found on the Damp and Mould page which can be found below in Useful Pages.
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 Housing Standards 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 Housing Standards team by:
- completing a Housing Disrepair Complaint Form (in 'Links')
- telephoning the team direct on 01205 314563
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 on the website links provided. However, you should still contact the Housing Standards Team to report the issues.