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Housing conditions

This content applies to England & Wales

Rights and duties involved in dealing with disrepair and poor housing conditions, nuisance, and overcrowding.

Repair responsibilities

The repairing rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant and the duty of care owed by an occupier. 

Advice about disrepair

Security of tenure, notices given and other facts which advisers should check before advising their clients about taking action on disrepair. 

Disrepair remedies for private tenants

A private tenant’s options to deal with disrepair, including legal action. 

Social housing tenant rights to repair

Secure and introductory local authority tenants can use a specific set of remedies for disrepair and complaint procedures. 

Tenant rights during repair work

Rights and duties to tackle problems occurring during repair or improvement work, including damage, delays, injuries, and disturbance. 

Access for landlord to carry out repairs

Tenants giving access or moving out so repair work can be done. Rent reduction where part of the property becomes unusable during repair work. 

Local authority grants and loans for improvements and repairs

Grants and assistance may be available from local authorities to help with the cost of repairs, improvements, adaptations, demolition or rebuilding. 

Legal remedies for disrepair overview

The ways for tenants, landlords and public authorities to obtain remedies for disrepair under contract, tort, or statute. 

Court orders for repairs

The purpose of court proceedings by means of an order for specific performance or, for non-contractual issues, a mandatory injunction. 

Tenant deducts from rent or offsets rent arrears

Rights of tenants to withhold rent to pay for the cost of repairs or offset rent arrears against the damages for disrepair, and the procedure for doing so. 

Displacement compensation

A person may be entitled to a home loss payment or disturbance payment if they are permanently displaced from their home. 

Contractual rights to repairs

The rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in cases of disrepair that are implied into agreements under legislation or common law. 

Local authority duties and powers under the HHSRS

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and how local authorities inspect rented housing and protect against hazards. 

Duty of care under the Defective Premises Act 1972

Actions that may be taken where a problem occurs with the construction, design or planning of a property. 

Negligence in housing repairs and conditions

A person who was negligent in breach of their duty of care may be liable to pay compensation for the injuries or damage caused by disrepair. 

Local authority statutory nuisance duties

Occupiers may be able to get help from the local authority or take action themselves if poor housing conditions amount to a statutory nuisance. 

Houses in multiple occupation

Rules for management and maintenance of good housing conditions in houses in multiple occupation (HMO). 


The legal definition of overcrowding and action that occupiers can take if their home is overcrowded. 

Gas and fire safety in the home

The law in relation to safety in the home, covering gas (including carbon monoxide and radon) and electrical safety, furnishings and fire safety. 

Asbestos in housing

Asbestos was widely used in housing and may pose health risks. Landlords must safely manage asbestos and tenants can take action if the measures are insufficient. 

Minimum energy performance standards

Prohibition to let a property that has an energy performance certificates (EPC) rating below the minimum standard unless the property is exempt. 

Energy performance certificates

A landlord must provide the tenant with an energy performance certificates (EPC) by an accredited energy assessor unless the property is exempt. 

Selective licensing schemes

Selective licensing for privately rented housing is available if local authorities believe it would reduce or eliminate specific housing problems. 

Noise nuisance

Noise can cause stress and health problems, and the affected people may use different methods to remedy noise nuisance. 

Neighbour nuisance

Actions that might constitute antisocial behaviour, and explanation of the courses of action and legal remedies that may be available to an occupier. 

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