Moving out during repairs

If repair work is dangerous or will cause too much disturbance, you may have to move out for a short time or even permanently.

Leaving your home temporarily because of disrepair

Your landlord may ask you to move out temporarily during major repair work to your home.

Before moving out, ask your landlord to confirm in writing:

  • how long the works will last
  • your right to return to the property after the work is completed
  • details of any alternative accommodation the landlord can provide for you

Your landlord can apply to the courts for an order for you to leave if you refuse to leave while repairs are being done.

If you have limited tenancy rights, your landlord might give you notice to end your tenancy instead.

Use Shelter's tenancy checker to check your tenancy rights.

Depending on your tenancy agreement and the length of time it has taken for your landlord to begin repairs, you may be entitled to compensation.

Get advice to check your rights if you have to leave your home temporarily.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre.

Leaving your home permanently because of disrepair

You might decide to look for somewhere else to live if the disrepair in your home is bad and your landlord refuses to make repairs.

You must end your tenancy properly if you want to leave. If you don't, you could be liable for the rent even after you've left.

Find out more about ending a fixed-term tenancy and ending a periodic (month to month) tenancy.

You could lose your deposit if you don't give the correct notice.

Find out more about deductions your landlord can make from your deposit and how to get your deposit back.

If you still have a few months left on your tenancy agreement your landlord may say you have to pay rent for the whole period.

You may be able to claim for damages if your landlord is breaking your tenancy agreement by refusing to carry out repairs.

You can take court action to claim compensation even if you've already left.

Get advice about finding somewhere new to live.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre.

Applying as homeless

You can make a homeless application if you have to move out of your home because it isn't safe to live there.

Do not give up your home before making the homeless application. The council could decide you made yourself intentionally homeless.

Eviction due to disrepair

Depending on the type of tenancy you have, your landlord may need a legal reason to evict you. They must follow the correct procedure to do this.

Find out more about the eviction of private tenants.

If you don't have strong tenancy rights, the landlord may only need to give you a short amount of notice.

Your landlord may be able to get a court order to evict you if the repair work can't be carried out if you remain in the property. If this is the case the court must normally make an order to evict you.

Your landlord cannot use this reason to evict you if you were a tenant before they bought the property.

Alternatively, your landlord could get a court order that says you have to leave temporarily so repairs can be carried out.

You can claim compensation from your landlord if you have to move into alternative accommodation during repair works and your tenancy has not been ended.

Find out more about claiming compensation for disrepair.

Taking action to stop eviction

You may be able to take action to stop your landlord evicting you.

Contact your local council's housing department. Ask if they have someone to help deal with eviction due to disrepair.

Find your local council's contact details.

Harassment and illegal eviction due to disrepair

Your eviction may be illegal if your landlord has not followed the correct procedure to evict you.

If your landlord tries to force you out by making life difficult for you, they may be guilty of harassment.

Moving back in after repairs

You may be able to move back in once repairs are completed.

You may have to ask the landlord to do more repair work if the repairs have been done badly or not been properly finished.

The landlord is responsible for fixing any damage caused during repair work.

Find out more about landlord and tenant responsibility for repairs.

Get advice if any of your personal belongings were damaged during repair or the repair work has made your home dangerous.

You may be able to ask the court for compensation or for an order to make your landlord carry out the work.

Rent increases after repairs

Depending on your tenancy agreement, your landlord may have the right to increase your rent after carrying out repairs and improvements.

Get advice from Shelter

Get advice about leaving your home because of repair problems.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre.

Call Shelter's free national helpline on 0808 800 4444.

Last updated 24 Sep 2015 | © Shelter

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