Private tenant rights during repairs

Find out what your rights are during repair work in your private rented home.

No right to withhold the rent

You don’t have the right to stop paying rent during repairs in your home.

Your landlord can take steps to evict you if you stop paying the rent.

Right to stay during repair work

You have the right to stay in your home while most repairs are being carried out. Your landlord should try to keep disruption to a minimum.

Some repairs might take longer and cost the landlord more because you are still in your home. Your landlord cannot use this as a reason to ask you to leave.

Moving out due to repairs

In some circumstances where major repairs are needed, you may have to move out for a short time or your landlord could take steps to end your tenancy.    

Most tenants do not have the right to be rehoused while repairs are being completed.

Eviction if you ask for repairs

Some landlords may take steps to evict tenants who complain about repairs or poor conditions. This is known as a revenge eviction.

You may have some protection against a revenge eviction if you have an assured shorthold tenancy.

Assured and regulated tenants already have protection from revenge evictions. Landlords must prove in court there’s a legal reason to evict them.

Poor or incomplete repairs

Tell your landlord if the repair work doesn't fix the problem or if the work has been done poorly. Your landlord must fix it.

If your landlord refuses to do the work, there are steps you can take to make them do the repairs needed.

If the work was done because you complained to your council’s environmental health department, contact the council again.  Ask them to take further action to make your landlord do the work properly.

If a landlord doesn't carry out works ordered by a court, they could be fined or even sent to prison.    

Redecoration after repair work

When repairs are carried out, your landlord should arrange to fix any damage the repair work causes to internal decorations.

This can include:

  • repairing damaged plaster or wall coverings
  • repainting if necessary
  • replacing damaged items such as carpets

Improvement work

Your landlord doesn't have to fix any damage if the work is an improvement, for example putting in a shower when you didn't have one before.

Ask your landlord to agree in writing to repair any damage before you agree to improvement work on your home.

Your landlord must have your permission before they can carry out any improvement work.

Use of your electricity and gas

The landlord's workers might have to use your supply of electricity, gas and other services during repair work.

If you think they've used too much or if it continues for a long time, ask your landlord to pay something towards the bills.

Last updated 01 Jun 2018 | © Shelter

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