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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.

Only repairs that cost less than £250 are covered.

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 are included.

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

When you cannot use the right to repair

You cannot use the right to repair scheme if the council:

You cannot use the scheme if you did not allow the council access to your home to inspect or fix the problem.

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 find your council

After you report a repair, your landlord should:

  • say if the repair is covered under the scheme

  • explain your rights under the scheme

  • give you the contact details of the contractor who will do the repair

  • let you know a time and date to be home to let the contractor in

Tell your landlord if you know you will not 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.

Example of urgent repairs are:

  • no running water

  • leaking water pipe

  • unsafe electrical wiring

  • no heating or hot water in the winter

Less urgent repairs could include an extractor fan or some taps not working.

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

If the contractor does not turn up to do the work by the last day of the time limit, let the council know. They should arrange another contractor.

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 does not do the repair within the new time limit.

You can get £10 compensation with a further £2 a day for every extra day the repair is not fixed, up to a maximum of £50.

If you have rent arrears, compensation is deducted from your arrears.

Ask your landlord how to apply for compensation. You usually have to claim in writing.

You will not get compensation if you:

  • did not report the repair

  • are out at the agreed time

  • do not allow the contractor access to your home

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

Last updated: 24 July 2022

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