Rent reductions when repairs are a problem

Find out what you can do if repair work to your private rented home causes problems or major disruption.

Rent payments and reductions

You do not have the right to stop paying rent during repairs.

You can ask your landlord for a reduction in your rent if:

  • you aren't able to use part of your home because of the works
  • because the work is very disruptive.

You claim compensation if your landlord refuses to reduce the rent. You can claim this after the work has been done.

You could take your landlord to court to claim compensation.

Get advice if your landlord refuses to reduce your rent.

Don't stop paying the rent or you could lose your home.

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

Redecoration after repair work

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

This can mean:

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

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

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

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

Use of your electricity and gas

The landlord's workers might have to use your supply of electricity, gas and other services while they're doing 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.

Right to stay during repair work

You have the right to stay in your home while most repairs are being carried out.

During repairs, the 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. Usually the landlord cannot use this as a reason to ask you to leave.

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

Right to leave during repair work

In some circumstances you might have to leave while repair work is being done to your home.

Find out about moving out during repairs.

Poor or incomplete repairs

Your landlord is usually only responsible for the repair and not for improving the property, so they might decide to do the minimum required.

You can take action over badly-done repairs. Tell your landlord if the repair work doesn't fix the problem. They must take steps to fix it.

Find out what you can do if your landlord won't do the work.

If the work was done because the environmental health department of your council or the court ordered it, contact the council or the court again. Ask how they can force your landlord to do the work properly.

Find out more about complaining to environmental health about conditions in your home.

Gas safety

Any work done to gas supplies or installations in your home must be done by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.

Find out more about gas safety in your rented home.

Last updated 15 Aug 2015 | © Shelter

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