Rent reductions when repairs are a problem

If you’re renting and repairs are disruptive or stop you from using part of your home, ask your landlord for a rent reduction.

Don’t withhold rent

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

Your landlord can take steps to evict you if don’t pay your rent.

Ask for a rent reduction

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

  • you are unable to use part of your home due to the repair problem
  • the work is disruptive

You should email or write to your landlord and tell them why you think the rent should be reduced and by how much.

Keep records of any correspondence you have with them. Records can help if you decide to make a complaint or claim for compensation at a later date.

Negotiate with your landlord

Be prepared to negotiate with your landlord about any reduction in rent due to repairs.

Your landlord is not legally required to reduce your rent during repair work.

Use of gas and electricity

The landlord's workers might have to use your supply of electricity and gas 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.

Claim compensation

You can go to court and make a claim for compensation if your landlord refuses to reduce the rent.

You can claim compensation if repair problems:

  • stopped you from using part or all of your home
  • caused you inconvenience
  • damaged to your belongings

You can start court action to claim compensation during your tenancy or up to 6 years after the time your landlord should have done the repair.

You can't get legal aid if you only want to claim compensation from your landlord.

You can ask a solicitor about a conditional fee arrangement. This means you don't pay a fee if you lose your case.

Still need advice?

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone

Last updated 03 May 2018 | © Shelter

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