Before deciding whether to contact the housing enforcement team to make a complaint it is worth going through the steps detailed below to secure the repairs you need. Landlords respond best when they have all the information they need to get the job done. A good relationship with your landlord is worth developing so you can communicate over things that are in your mutual interest.
What to do if the property you are renting needs repairs
- Contact your landlord/managing agent (as soon as possible if it is an emergency, eg a burst pipe).
- Make a list of what is faulty or needs repairing.
- If the repairs are not completed satisfactorily then put the matter in writing to the landlord or managing agent.
- Give your landlord/managing agent access details eg a time when they can get into your property to inspect it or carry out the repairs.
- Keep in regular contact with your landlord/managing agent.
- If the repair isn’t satisfactory or done in a reasonable time scale, even after giving reminders, then contact the Housing enforcement team on 01234 718099.
The landlord has a ‘reasonable time’ to do the repair. This will depend on the type of repair, how long it will take to do and if it is an emergency. Landlords of rented accommodation are required by law to ensure that all such accommodation meets the legal minimum requirements.
We have the power to take action against landlords who let property which is below this standard. A landlord has to ensure that a property is fit to live in and to carry out routine repairs to the property when necessary.
Repair work landlords must do
General repair work that a landlord must do includes:
- Repairs to the structure of your home (including the roof, walls, floors, doors and windows).
- Repairs to the outside of the building including gutters, pipes and drains.
- Repairs to plumbing, such as baths, toilets and basins.
- Repairs to electrical wiring and gas pipes.
- Repairs to fixed heaters and wall heaters.
- Landlords must also ensure that their properties are safe to live in so the condition of the property should not seriously affect health and safety.
Make sure you have your landlord's details, or the details of their managing agent; their name, address and phone number so that you can report problems. You have a legal right to these details. The landlord has the right to come into your home to check what needs repairing, but they must give at least 24 hours notice, and must come at an agreed time. As quickly as possible if it's an emergency.
Houses in multiple occupation
If you live in a house in multiple occupations (HMO), for example bedsits with shared bathrooms or kitchens, then the landlord is reasonable for the cleanliness and maintenance of the common parts.
Tenants only have exclusive use of their own rooms, so if you are unhappy with the shared parts, you are justified in complaining to your landlord about this. The landlord must display contact details, any certificates such as gas safety and instructions for the fire alarm on a notice board in the hall so everyone can see it easily.
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 set out duties of occupiers which is a useful starting point to understand what occupiers are responsible for and what the landlord is responsible for.
Duty of tenants
It is the duty of all residents of the property to ensure that the agent can effectively carry out his duties.
All residents must:
- Allow the manager or agent access, at all reasonable times, to any occupied room, that he may carry out his duties;
- Provide the manager or agent on request with any relevant information needed to carry out his duties;
- Comply with arrangements made by the manager or agent in respect of litter storage and disposal;
- Take care not to hinder in any way the manager or agent in the performance of his duties; Take reasonable care to avoid damaging anything that the manager or agent is under obligation to keep in good repair;
- Comply with the reasonable instructions of the manager or agent in respect to any means of escape from fire, prevention of fire and use of fire equipment;
- Treat the premises in a suitable tenant-like manner and conduct all activities as a reasonable tenant would do.
Contact the housing team on 01234 718099 or email email@example.com