Repairs in your council or housing association home

Complain to your landlord about repairs

You can complain if your council or housing association landlord:

  • refuses to do repairs

  • does not answer when you ask for repairs

  • does the repairs badly

  • takes too long to do the repairs

If your landlord uses a private company for repairs

Complain to your landlord directly if there are problems with the company. Do not let your landlord put you off and say you must keep asking the private company.

Your landlord is responsible.

Before you complain

Always report repairs to your landlord first.

Ask how long the repairs will take. Give your landlord a reasonable time to do them.

Make sure you keep paying your rent while you are sorting out repair problems. Your landlord can try to evict you if you stop paying rent.

Keep good records

Keep all details about repairs you ask for. It is important to keep records and evidence from the start.

Make sure your records include:

  • all letters, emails and messages with your landlord

  • details of phone calls including times, dates and the names of people you speak to

  • photos and videos of all problems, including bad repairs or damage caused by the work

  • when the landlord or their contractor does not turn up

  • medical letters or reports if your health is affected

  • receipts for things you had to buy, for example, to replace damaged belongings

Complain to your landlord

Ask your council or housing association landlord for a copy of their complaints procedure. Check their website for a copy or a complaints form.

Read the policy carefully and follow the steps.

Put your complaint in writing.

Be as clear as you can. Give details of the problems you've had.

Keep a record of when you send it and when you get responses.

What your landlord should do

They should:

  • make sure their policy is clear and easy to follow

  • look into your complaint fairly

  • follow the Housing Ombudsman complaints handling code

Most complaints have at least 2 stages. If you're unhappy with the first response, ask for a final one.

If you're a council tenant, you can find the department to complain to on GOV.UK

Complain to the Housing Ombudsman

You can complain to the Housing Ombudsman if you are unhappy with your landlord's final response.

Other ways to get help

There may be other ways to get repairs done or a complaint about your landlord sorted out.

You could contact:

Your councillor or MP can talk to your landlord on your behalf..

Renters' unions could help you ask for repairs and challenge bad practice by your landlord.

A tenant panel is a group of tenants who work with a social landlord to make sure they give the right services and deal with complaints properly.

What to say

Tell the person you contact:

  • why you complained about repairs

  • why you’re unhappy with your landlord’s response

  • what you want the landlord to do

Take legal action against your landlord

You can sometimes take your landlord to court if the repairs were not done or were done badly.

Last updated: 8 June 2023

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