Right to repair scheme for council tenants

If you are a council tenant you can use the right to repair scheme to get small repair jobs done quickly.

Eligible repairs

The right to repair scheme can help council tenants to get minor repairs fixed quickly.

Only small repairs are covered by the scheme and they must cost less than £250.

They could include:

  • unsafe plugs or electrical wiring
  • blocked flues to fires or boilers
  • blocked sinks or toilets
  • leaking roofs, pipes, tanks or cisterns

Contact your landlord for details of their scheme and a full list of the repairs that can be included.

Your landlord could look at the repair to check it qualifies.

Repairs not covered

A repair doesn't qualify if:

  • it costs more than £250
  • you caused the problem
  • your council has less than 100 properties to let out
  • you fail to provide access for inspection or for the repair to be carried out

When you report a repair

Always report a repair to your landlord as soon as you can. Most councils have an online system for reporting repairs.

Use the Gov.uk council finder to request a repair to a council property.

After you report a repair, your landlord should:

  • say if the repair is covered under the scheme
  • explain your rights under the right to repair scheme
  • give you the contact details of the contractor who'll be doing the repair
  • let you know a time and date to be home to let the contractor in

Tell your landlord if you know you're not going to be home when the contractor arrives. Try to make alternative arrangements.

How long repairs should take

Repairs must be done within 1, 3 or 7 working days, depending on how urgent the problem is.

The most urgent repairs could include total loss of water supply or unsafe electrical wiring. Less urgent repairs could include an extractor fan not working or a partial loss of water supply.

Your landlord will tell you how long your repair will take to fix.

If the contractor doesn't turn up to do the work by the last day of the time limit, let the council know. They should make arrangements for another contractor to do the work.

A new time limit starts the first working day after you tell the council to arrange a replacement contractor.

Claim compensation

You can claim compensation if the second contractor doesn't do the repair within the new time limit.

You are entitled to £10 compensation with a further £2 a day for every extra day the repair isn't fixed, up to a maximum of £50.

If you have rent arrears, the amount is deducted from your arrears.

Contact your landlord to ask about how to apply for compensation. You usually have to make a claim in writing.

You won't get compensation if you:

  • didn't report the repair
  • are out at the agreed time
  • don't allow the contractor access to your home

You probably can't claim compensation if the repair work is cancelled because of unforeseen circumstances, such as extreme weather.

Still need advice?

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone.

Last updated 08 September 2017 | © Shelter

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