Our new statutory Complaint Handling Code comes into effect from 1 April 2024 - find out more.

Repairs

This information is for residents who are having problems with the condition of their property and need to report a repair to their landlord.

Who is responsible for repairs to my home?

Private landlords, councils and housing association landlords are responsible for most repairs in your home, including: 

  • electrics 
  • gas pipes and boilers 
  • heating and hot water 
  • chimneys and ventilation 
  • sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains 
  • the structure and exterior of your home - including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors, and windows 

Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 places an obligation on landlords to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the property and keep in repair and proper working order the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, heating, and heating water. 

If a repair is needed in your property and you are not sure whether it is the landlord’s responsibility, you should check the agreement you have with your landlord. 

Your landlord will have its own process for reporting repairs and the timescales it should carry out any work. A repair can be reported via your landlord’s online portal (if it has one), by email or call to the repair team, or by letting your Housing Officer know. 

Landlords will usually have a repairs policy published on its website and which should include information on how to report a repair and response timescales. 

Emergency repairs

Your landlord should also have an emergency out of hours repairs service. Information on what is classed as an emergency repair should be given to you when your tenancy begins and included in your tenancy agreement and ‘how to rent’ handbook.  

After reporting an emergency repair, you should contact your landlord in normal working hours, to check a record is kept of reporting the repair.  

Leaseholder responsibilities

Leaseholders or shared ownership leaseholders can check the terms of your lease to see which repairs you and your landlord handle.

The landlord is usually only responsible for the structure and exterior of the building, including any communal areas.  

You can also seek advice from The Leasehold Advisory Service.  

The Leasehold Advisory Service (lease-advice.org)

Allowing your landlord access

You should allow your landlord a reasonable amount of time to carry out the repair before contacting it again. Your landlord should have published target timescales for completing repairs depending on the urgency. 

You should allow the landlord access to your home so it can assess what repairs are needed and arrange any inspections or surveys to carry out the work. Most landlords will give at least 24-hours' notice before visiting your home.  

Your landlord should ask if you would prefer to be at home for visits or when the repairs are completed. 

Reporting pests in your home

Your landlord will have a policy for treating and responding to a pest infestation in your home. Whether your landlord is responsible to treat the pest infestation may depend on factors such as where the infestation is coming from or the cause of the infestation. 

In the first instance, report the matter to your landlord and check the information on your landlord’s website. You can get further guidance from your local authority’s environmental health department, which also has obligations to deal with pests. 

Find out about pest control - GOV.UK

Let your landlord know as soon as possible if you see signs of an infestation in your home.  

Requesting adaptations in your home

If you need adaptations to make it easier to live or move around your home with a disability, you may have certain rights under the law. Aids and adaptations include hand/grabrails or wheelchair access.  

In the first instance, speak to your landlord to find out its policy on funding and carrying out adaptations. If you are a housing association tenant, you can contact your local authority which has an obligation to assess people with disabilities for a range of adaptations to their home. 

The Housing Ombudsman cannot consider a complaint about the assessment of an Occupational Therapist assessment provided by a local authority. This would be for The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.  

When to make a complaint to your landlord

If you are not satisfied with how your landlord has responded to your reports of repairs, make a formal complaint to your landlord. This could be because: 

  • the landlord has taken too long to respond to complete the repairs 
  • the landlord has completed the repair to an inadequate quality  
  • the landlord’s contractors that completed the repairs acted inappropriately 
  • the landlord has not followed its repairs policy or outlined in the tenancy agreement  

Find out how to complain to your landlord

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Compensation

Find out about the types of compensation your landlord can make.

Find out more about compensation (opens in a new tab)

Fire safety

This information explains how residents can get help if you are concerned about fire safety in your home, including the common parts of a residential buildings. 

Find out about fire safety (opens in a new tab)

Reporting a problem

This information is for residents who need to report an issue to their landlord. This could be any problem, such as a repair, anti-social behaviour or a query about a charge.

Find out about reporting a problem (opens in a new tab)