Advice for tenants

Tenants advice on disrepair

Your landlord is normally responsible for repairs to:

  • the property’s structure and exterior
  • basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation
  • electrical wiring
  • any damage they cause by attempting repairs

Your landlord is usually responsible for repairing common areas, e.g. staircases in blocks of flats. Check your tenancy agreement if you’re unsure.

Condensation, mould and damp

You can find out more information about dealing with condensation, mould and damp here.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms 

Landlords have a responsibility to fit smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. You can find more information here.

Your responsibilities

You should only carry out repairs if the tenancy agreement says you can.  You can’t be forced to do repairs that are your landlord’s responsibility.

If you damage another tenant’s flat, e.g. if water leaks into another flat from an overflowing bath, you’re responsible for paying for the repairs. You’re also responsible for paying to put right any damage caused by your family and friends.

If your property needs repairs or isn’t fit to live in

Contact your landlord if you think repairs are needed. Do this straight away for faults that could damage health, e.g. faulty electrical wiring. Ideally this should be done in writing and this sample letter can be a starting point. If reported by text – keep a copy of the text.

Your landlord should respond to your request within 14 days. You should carry on paying rent while you’re waiting. If you think your home’s unsafe, contact Environmental Health straight away.

How to make a complaint

If your housing conditions could: cause you harm; or cause a nuisance to others; or your landlord has failed to take any action - you will be offered an inspection under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).  This looks at 29 hazards within the property that are known to adversely affect health.

If the inspection identifies hazards, the Council has a duty to take action to ensure the necessary improvements are carried out by the landlord.  This also includes housing associations or where you rent a room in shared house.  Our leaflet ‘Private rented property - dealing with repairs’ explains the procedure further.

Downloadable files

Environmental Health Technical Support team

You can speak to our Environmental Health Technical Support team about any disrepair or environmental concerns by: