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Taking action on disrepair

This content applies to England & Wales

Options for tenants whose landlord has failed to carry out repairs .

This should be read in conjunction with the sections on how landlords' repairing responsibilities arise: Contractual rights including section 11 and Non-contractual rights.

This section provides information about:

  • using rent to pay for repairs and/or offsetting rent arrears
  • taking action in the county court (to get repair works done and/or claim damages)
  • remedies that are applicable to particular types of tenancy (for example, council tenants may be able to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman).

Factors to be considered

What advisers should check before advising their clients about taking action on disrepair. 

Withholding rent

A look at whether tenants can withhold rent to pay for the cost of repairs and the procedure for doing so. 

Offsetting rent arrears

Whether rent arrears can be offset against damages for disrepair. 

County court action

How a tenant can take court action against her/his landlord for disrepair. 

Local authority tenants: additional remedies

Particular remedies for disrepair available to secure and introductory local authority tenants. 

PRPSH tenants: additional remedies

Specific procedures that tenants of private registered providers of social housing (PRPSHs) can use when faced with disrepair. 

Private tenants: additional remedies

Some remedies for disrepair that private tenants may have. 

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