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Reporting disrepair

House repairs

There is a Statutory Duty to keep the housing conditions in our area under review with a view to identifying any action that may need to be taken to address housing disrepair issues.

In most cases, we will work with property owners to ensure that properties are safe and do not cause a nuisance. In some circumstances we will use legal enforcement measures to secure improvement if people are at risk.

Is it the tenant's or the landlord's responsibility?

Landlords are responsible for keeping in good repair:

  • The structure and exterior of your home, for example, the walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors
  • Basins, sinks, baths, toilets and their pipework
  • Water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires or fitted heaters.

These repair responsibilities cannot be removed by anything a tenancy agreement says. Also, your landlord can not pass on the cost of any repair work to tenants which is their responsibility. Landlords should make sure that your home is safe and free from any hazards.

Damp and mould

Landlords must deal with damp and mould problems that are caused by disrepair or make the property unfit to live in.

Rats, mice and other pests

Landlords must carry out any repairs needed to stop pests getting into your home. Tenants may be responsible for paying for treatment of pests within the home.

Gas Safety

Your landlord must arrange gas safety checks every year.

Electrical installations and appliances

Your landlord must make sure that wiring, plug sockets and any electrical appliances they provide are safe.

Fire safety

Your landlord must install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms where needed.

Tenant's responsibilities

Tenant’s should live in “a tenant like manner.”

This means:

  • Keeping their home clean
  • Safety checks on electrical appliances they own
  • Keeping gardens or outside areas in a reasonable state
  • Making sure their home is well ventilated to help avoid condensation
  • Minor maintenance such as changing light bulbs or smoke alarm batteries
  • Not causing or permitting anti-social behaviour
  • Tenants only need to maintain their home to a reasonable level. They do not have to leave it in a better condition than when they moved in.

How should I report a repair?

Your landlord must carry out repairs within a reasonable period of time.

When a repair needs carrying out, you should in the first instance make contact with your landlord/ agent to inform them of the problem.

It is also worthwhile following this up in writing with either a letter or e-mail which confirms what the repair problem(s) are and keep a copy of this for your records.

Sample letters for reporting repairs are available to you within the related information section.

In the case of an emergency, the landlord/agent should be telephoned as soon as is practicable.

What should I do if nothing happens after I have reported a repair?

Contact your landlord or agent again if they don’t take action after you report a repair. It may also help to propose dates and times when the work could be done.

Make sure you are cooperative with your landlords requests for entry to your home to allow repairs to be completed. It is probable that your tenancy requires you to allow access at reasonable times and with reasonable notice (at least 24 hours).

You should be as flexible as possible  about when repairs can be carried out.

How do I report disrepair issues if things aren't progressing?

If repairs are still not completed within a reasonable time, you can contact the Environmental Health Residential Team .

When the Team receives a complaint, we aim to work with landlords to resolve any issues and are available to provide pragmatic advice throughout the process.

We find most landlords will carry out the repairs willingly, but in some cases we have legal powers to make landlords deal with repair problems.

If you have reported the disrepair issues to your landlord and they have still not been addressed you can contact us.

When you contact us if you could provide us with as much information as possible regarding your complaint as this will help with prioritisation of your case and assist us to deal with your concerns in the most efficient way.

Details to include:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your email address
  • Your landlords name(If know)
  • Your landlords Address (If known)
  • Contact details for your landlord (If known)
  • Agent
  • Agent contact details.
  • Nature of disrepair
  • Location of disrepair
  • How long has the disrepair been going on

If you can provide photographs of the disrepair you are reporting, this may assist us, however this is not essential.

What will the Council do

  • We will write to you to advise you that we are investigating your complaint.
  • We will write to your agent and landlord to make them aware that we are investigating allegations of the disrepair and that they should visit the property to review the issues raised and to carry out remedial action as required.
  • We will engage with you and your landlord/agent to facilitate works being carried out in reasonable time frame.
  • If your landlord/agent fails to carry out work at your property we will carry out a full inspection of your property.
  • We are legally required to give a minimum of 24 hours notice of an inspection of your property, unless we are concerned that any of the items raised pose an immediate risk.