What to do if your private landlord won’t do repairs

Follow these steps if your private landlord won’t deal with repairs or poor conditions in your home.

1. Check who’s responsible

Your landlord is usually responsible for most repairs in your home.

They must also make sure your home is fit to live in during your tenancy if you sign a new agreement on or after 20 March 2019.

You are usually responsible for any damage that you cause. This includes damage caused by your family or guests.

Some landlords will try and evict tenants who complain about repairs

2. Follow up with your landlord

Make sure your landlord knows what the problem is. 

Contact them again if you need to. Email or write to them to confirm the details.

Find out what to do if you don't have your landlord's contact details

You could:

  • suggest times and dates to do the work
  • remind them of their responsibility to do repairs

If you rent from a letting agent you can make a complaint if they don’t pass on your repair requests to the landlord.

Make sure you keep paying your rent. If you withhold rent your landlord can take steps to evict you.

3. Keep records and evidence

Records and evidence can help if you need to take further action.

This can include:

  • letters and emails to and from your landlord
  • photos of the problem and any damage to your belongings
  • doctor’s notes if your health is affected

4. Contact environmental health

You can ask the council's environmental health team to inspect your home.

The council may order your landlord to carry out repairs or improve conditions.

Decide whether to tell your landlord if you intend to contact the council.

It may encourage them to do the work but there could be a risk of revenge eviction.

You can use Shelter's template letter: tell your landlord that you'll contact the council if they don't do repairs

5. Consider court action

You could consider taking your landlord to court if they won’t deal with repairs or poor conditions.

The court can order your landlord to:

  • carry out the repair work
  • pay you compensation

Still need advice?

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone


Last updated 18 Mar 2019 | © Shelter

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