Repairs in your council or housing association home

Disruption and moving out because of repairs

Your council or housing association landlord must make sure repairs are done well.

Repairs should:

  • be done in a reasonable time

  • not cause other problems

Tell your landlord If the repair work has not fixed the problem.

Use our letter template to email or message your landlord about bad repairs. Take photos and videos of the problem to send.

[Use the subject: Problems with repairs work]

I’m contacting you about the repairs recently done at [your address].

The problems that needed to be fixed were [give details of repairs that were done or should have been done].

The problems with the repairs done are [give details. For example, pipes are still leaking].

Please contact me in the next 2 days to arrange for these problems to be fixed straight away.

I look forward to hearing from you.

When contractors do not turn up

You should also contact your landlord if contractors do not turn up as arranged.

Use our letter template to email or message your landlord.

[Use the subject: Contractors did not turn up]

I’m contacting you about the repairs that need to be done at [your address].

Contractors were meant to come to the property to [assess/fix] the problems on [date]. They did not turn up.

They did not let me know that they would not come.

Please contact me in the next 2 days to arrange another time for the contractors to come to my home.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Compensation

If you are a council tenant using the right to repair scheme for small repairs, you can claim compensation if the work goes over time limits.

If your landlord uses a private company for repairs

Complain to your council or housing association if the company does not do the repairs. 

Do not let your landlord tell you that it is the private company's problem. Your landlord must make sure repairs are done.

Damage caused by repairs

Your landlord must fix damage caused by:

  • disrepair

  • repair work done to fix the problem

For example, your landlord should:

  • repair any damaged plaster or wall coverings

  • repaint where needed

  • replace any damaged items such as carpets

You can claim compensation if repair work damages your belongings.

Disruption during repairs

Talk to your landlord about paying less rent if repair work gets in the way of your everyday life or if you cannot use rooms while the work is done.

If your landlord refuses, you could take them to court to claim compensation.

You do not have the right to:

  • be rehoused while repairs are done

  • stop paying rent during repairs

Your landlord should have a policy on rehousing and paying less rent during repairs. Ask them for a copy.

Use of your electricity and water

The repair people may have to use your electricity, gas and other services during repairs.

Ask your landlord to contribute to your bills if you think they have used too much or the repairs take a long time.

If you have to move out

You may have to move out of your home if it needs repairs such as:

  • major structural work

  • asbestos removal

  • fire damage repairs

  • flood damage repairs

Before you move out, ask your landlord about:

  • paying rent in the property you are placed in

  • if moving will affect your housing benefit or universal credit

  • how much they will pay for things like removal costs

  • how long the work will take

  • when you can move back

Get your landlord's agreement in writing that you can move back to your home when repairs are finished.

Check their repairs and rehousing policy to make sure they follow it.

Temporary accommodation

Your landlord could offer you and your household temporary accommodation. 

Check your tenancy agreement to see if it says anything about temporary accommodation.

You can complain to your council or housing association if you do not think the accommodation is suitable.

You may prefer to stay with friends or family while the repairs are done.

Eviction for repairs

Some repairs may take longer and cost the landlord more if you are in your home.

The landlord cannot usually make you leave for this reason.

But they could ask the court to evict you if:

  • major repairs cannot be done unless you move out

  • your home cannot be fixed

Your landlord must offer you somewhere else to live if you have a secure or flexible tenancy.

Most housing association assured tenants should also be offered somewhere else suitable.

You could also get a home loss payment if you have to move out permanently. For example, if your home is too damaged to be fixed.

Last updated: 8 June 2023

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