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 accidentally cause 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.

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. 

You may be able to phone, email or write to your landlord with details of the problem 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 to provide:

  • their name and 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 could be up to:

  • 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.

If you are a council tenant you can get compensation under the right to repair scheme if some small repairs aren’t carried out in a certain time.

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 should also tell you how long the work is likely to take.

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 or their contractor visited your home to check or carry out the repairs

  • details of any missed appointments 

  • copies of letters and emails from your landlord

  • dates times 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 it badly, you can make a complaint.

Last updated: 4 August 2019

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