Repairs to rented accommodation

Reporting repairs and getting them done can cause problems between private tenants and their landlords.

A good starting point is to know who is responsible for what.

Landlord's responsibilities

The property must be dry, safe and structurally stable. It must have adequate heating, drainage, lighting, ventilation, water supply, toilet and bathing facilities. It should meet minimum health and safety standards.

The landlord is responsible for repairs to the structure of the building. This includes the roof, windows, doors, drains, gutters, baths, sinks, toilets, heating, hot and cold water, gas and electrical installations and general building repairs. They must also repair damage that was caused by someone with no connection to the tenant - for example during a break-in or vandalism.

Tenant's responsibilities

The tenant must do minor jobs, like replacing fuses, or clearing a blocked sink. They must also repair damage that they or their visitors have caused.

Reporting repairs

When a repair needs doing, the tenant must tell the landlord in writing as soon as possible, or by phone if it's an emergency such as a burst pipe.

The landlord has a 'reasonable time' to do the repair. There are no hard and fast rules about how long work should take; it depends on the urgency of the job. A blocked toilet should be repaired much more quickly than a sticking window for example.

Landlord's visit

The landlord has the right to come into your home to check what needs repair. But they must give at least 24 hours notice, and must come at an agreed time - as quickly as possible if it's an emergency job.

How the Council can help

If you are a tenant and the repair isn't done in a reasonable time, even after reminding the landlord, do not stop paying your rent. We can help.

We have legal powers to make your landlord tackle problems with the condition of your property but most of the time we can persuade them to carry out the repairs voluntarily.

Report a problem by e-mail 

Or call Environmental Health on 0151 691 8370