How to report repairs to a council or housing association landlord

Report repairs to your council or housing association landlord as soon as possible.

Emergency situations

Call the gas emergency number 0800 111 999 immediately if there's a gas leak or signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

You should contact your landlord as soon as possible if you have any concerns about fire safety and electrical safety in your home.

Check who is responsible for repairs

Your council or housing association landlord is usually responsible for doing repairs in your home.

If you caused damage to your home, you should still report it. Your landlord could arrange to fix the damage and then charge you for the cost of the repairs.

Some small repairs to your home may be covered by the right to repair scheme if you are a council tenant.

Contact your landlord

Always report repairs to your landlord as soon as you can.

Most councils and housing associations allow you to report repairs online. 

Use GOV.UK to find your local council

You may be able to phone, email or write to your landlord with details of the repair instead. Check your landlord's website or your tenants' handbook for further information.

If there's a dispute about repairs not being done, a letter or email helps prove you told your landlord about the problem

Use Shelter's template letter to report repairs to your landlord.

Reporting a repair on someone's behalf

You can usually report a repair on behalf of a council or housing association tenant. 

You will need provide:

  • their name
  • their address
  • information about the repair

Ask how long the repair will take

Your landlord should tell you how they are going to carry out the repair and how long it will take.

Reasonable time limits for completing repairs should be approximately:

  • 24 hours for an emergency repair (burst pipe or total loss of water supply)
  • 7 days for an urgent repair (leaking roof or blocked pipe)
  • 28 days for a routine repair (faulty window or broken extractor fan)

Check your landlord's website or your tenants' handbook for further information about how long a repair might take.

Allow access

You must allow your landlord and their contractors reasonable access to your home. They will need to assess what repairs are needed and carry out the work.

Your landlord should agree a time and date with you to do the repair. They will also tell you how long they will need access.

Let your landlord know if you're no longer able to be home at the agreed time. Try to arrange another convenient time.

Keep records

Keep a record of your contact with your landlord about repair problems.

This can include:

  • copies of letters and emails you sent to your landlord
  • the dates your landlord visited your home to check the repairs
  • copies of letters and emails from your landlord
  • date and time and details of phone calls between you and your landlord

Make a complaint

If your landlord refuses to do a repair, takes too long or does them badly, you can make a complaint.


Last updated 12 Jul 2017 | © Shelter

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