Disrepair and Poor Housing Conditions

Your rights in situations where your rented property is not adequately maintained, leading to issues such as structural problems, safety hazards, or essential amenities not functioning properly.

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Guide to housing repairs

My landlord won't do the repairs, what can I do?

It's important to note that your basic legal rights may not be written into your tenancy agreement. However, tenants have basic rights set in law.

What the Law states:- Under the 1985 Landlord and Tenant Act, the landlord is responsible for:

  • The structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water systems, basins, sinks and other sanitary installations.
  • Gas and electrical appliances
  • Fire safety of furniture and furnishings provided
  • Repairing and keeping in good working order the water heating system
  • Tenants are also responsible for some basic repairs such as changing lightbulbs

However, the landlord only legally becomes responsible once they have been notified of the repairs in writing (this can be via post or email).

The law states that you have to then allow a 'reasonable' amount of time for the landlord to carry out the repairs. The law does not set out what is reasonable, and this is determined on a case by case basis.

Timescales for the repairs

Emergency repairs such as broken boilers, leaking roof or ceiling, broken toilet, should be carried out between one to two days.

For non-urgent repairs, such as broken cupboard door we suggest 28 days to be a 'reasonable' amount of time.

If the landlord ignores your requests or refuses to carry out repairs there are a number of things you can do

  • Try to collect evidence of the disrepair
  • Take photos of the disrepair/ items damaged by the disrepair
  • Gather receipts for the damaged items
  • If appropriate contact your local council to get them to come to inspect the property

Keep copies of any emails/letters/ record of any conversations that you have had with your landlord/agent

If your health has been affected by the disrepair then get copies of GP notes

Do not stop paying your rent without taking advice from ourselves or another advice agency.

If you are having problems trying to resolve the issue, please contact us for further help/advice. You can also view our guide to repairs.