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Compensation for poor repairs and conditions

You could ask for compensation if:

  • your landlord does not do repairs in a reasonable time

  • repairs are bad quality and do not fix things

  • your home is unfit to live in

Council, housing association and private tenants can all ask for compensation.

Wait until your tenancy ends if you're a private tenant at risk of a section 21 notice.

You could still ask for a rent reduction if you have a decent relationship with your landlord or letting agent.

How to ask for compensation

First ask your landlord directly.

Then you can:

  • use a letting agent redress scheme if you rent through an agent

  • complain to the Housing Ombudsman if you rent from a council or housing association

  • take court action if your landlord will not agree to compensation

What you can get compensation for

You could claim for:

  • inconvenience

  • financial loss

  • damage to belongings

  • health problems caused by or made worse by your housing conditions


This could be:

  • disruption to your daily life

  • time spent waiting for builders or inspections

  • not being able to use all the rooms in your home

The amount you could get depends on how the problem affected you and for how long.

Financial loss

You could ask for a refund if you've had to spend money because of repair problems.

For example, if you've had higher electric bills from using plug in heaters because a broken boiler has not been fixed.

Keep receipts and bills as proof of what you've paid.

Damage to belongings

You can ask for money to replace items that were damaged or destroyed during repair works or because of poor conditions.

For example, if you've had to throw away clothes or mattresses because of a damp problem that has not been fixed.

Ill health

Problems like damp or broken heating systems can affect your physical and mental health.

The amount you can claim depends on how you were affected and for how long.

You can also claim for:

  • loss of earnings if you could not work

  • extra expenses such as prescriptions or travel to hospital

Keep sick notes or hospital reports that show how your health has been affected.

Ask your landlord and negotiate

Ask your landlord for compensation before considering a complaint or court action.

It can save time and money if you can reach an agreement.

Explain why you think you should get compensation.

Follow up conversations with a letter or email. Keep copies.

Consider reasonable offers from your landlord - including offers to reduce your rent. There’s no guarantee you'll get more if you go to court.

Complain to an ombudsman or redress scheme

An ombudsman or redress scheme is a free independent service that can resolve complaints.

They can order compensation in some cases.

You have to complain to your landlord or letting agent before you use these services.

You must usually complain within a year of your landlord's final response to the complaint.

Housing Ombudsman

Council or housing association tenants can complain to the Housing Ombudsman.

Read about compensation amounts on the Housing Ombudsman website.

Redress schemes

Private renters using a letting agent can complain to a redress scheme.

All agents and property managers must be a member of one of the 2 redress schemes:

  • Property Ombudsman (TPO)

  • Property Redress Scheme (PRS)

Private landlords who manage their own properties do not have to join a redress scheme but some do this voluntarily.

Consider court action

You can take legal action to claim compensation during your tenancy or after it ends.

You must have reported the problem to your landlord during your tenancy.

You have up to 6 years to claim or 3 years for a personal injury claim. The time runs from when your landlord should have carried out the work.

Some private landlords try to evict tenants who ask for repairs or compensation.

Find out when you're protected from a section 21 revenge eviction.

Last updated: 8 June 2023

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