How to report repairs to a private landlord

Your landlord's responsibilities to carry out repairs start when you report the problem

How to report repairs

Check your landlord is responsible for the repair problem first. 

You can report a repair problem in person, by phone, text, email or in writing. 

Use Shelter's template letter to write to your landlord to ask for repairs.

Report repairs promptly

Your landlord must carry out repairs within a reasonable period of time - but that only begins once you've told them about the problem. 

For example, if you report an emergency repair such as a broken boiler it could be reasonable for your landlord to carry out repairs within 24 hours. 

If a repair problem gets worse because you didn't report it, your landlord might say you are responsible for any damage caused.

You should also tell your landlord about any repair problems in communal areas, such as shared hallways or stairs in a block of flats. 

Follow up in writing

You should also write or email your landlord to confirm:

  • what the repair problem is
  • when you reported it to the landlord
  • what your landlord said they would do about it

If you need to take further action you may need to show what you have done to contact the landlord. 

Keep records

Keep a record of all your contact with your landlord about the repair problem.

This can include:

  • copies of letters and emails to and from your landlord
  • dates of any visits to your home from your landlord
  • the date and time of phone calls from your landlord and what was said

Chase up repairs

You may need to contact your landlord or agent again if they don’t take action after you report a repair.

Write or email them to:

  • remind them of their responsibilities
  • suggest dates and times when the work could be done

Give your landlord or agent a time to respond to you.

It’s a good idea to be flexible about when repairs can be carried out.

Contact the landlord directly

If you normally deal with a letting agent, you could try contacting the landlord directly. 

Consider this if you report a repair to the agent and they either:

  • don't respond
  • don't pass the information to the landlord

Delays sometimes happen where the landlord will only allow the agent to do small repairs without getting their permission. Speaking to the landlord may help get the work done quicker.

If repairs aren't carried out

You may need to take further action if your landlord doesn’t deal with a repair problem.

This could mean:

  • complaining to the council
  • considering court action

Last updated 05 Aug 2019 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.