Repairs to Private Rented Property
Landlords who rent out accommodation have a responsibility to ensure that it is maintained in a safe condition.
The landlord is normally responsible for:
- the structure (roofs and gutters, ceilings, walls and floors, windows and doors, staircases and steps, banisters and handrails, drainage and paths)
- installations in the property for the supply of gas, water and electricity (including baths, toilets and sinks)
- installations for heating water (gas boilers, immersion heaters) and space heating (for example, storage heaters, radiators, gas fires).
Landlords of House in Multiple Occupation (properties let to more than one household) have additional responsibilities to manage and in some cases licence the property.
If your home is in a state of disrepair which may be affecting your health and safety, you should contact your landlord first, in writing, to give him/her the opportunity to put it right.
If you are unsure if your landlord is responsible or if you have reported the problem and they won't carry out repairs, you can contact the Council's Housing Standards Team for advice by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01494 732013.
The Council can carry out an inspection of a private rented house where it receives a complaint from a tenant., but we do need to tell your landlord before we visit.
House conditions are assessed using a risk assessment procedure called the Housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS). If unacceptable hazards are found, the council may take action to require your landlord to carry out works to make the property safe.
A legal notice may be served on the landlord requiring improvements to be carried out within a fixed timescale. Failure to comply with a legal notice is a criminal offence and, in the most serious cases, can result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
In addition, from 20 March 2019, under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, tenants may be able to take their landlord to court for breach of contract, if the property they are renting is unfit for habitation at the start or during the tenancy. Guidance for landlords and tenants is available on the gov.uk website at the links below: