Private housing repairs and maintenance

You must always contact your landlord first to report anything that requires repairing. You should send a letter or an email. Example letters can be found on Shelters website: England Shelter - Template letters.

The Private Rented Sector Enforcement Team have a legal obligation to protect tenants from inappropriate and illegal behaviour by landlord, for example, potential risks to health and safety.

We are unable to provide reports of property conditions for civil claims or support applications for re housing. Our obligation is to ensure that your landlord completes any necessary repairs to ensure you are able to continue living in your home, free from any risk to your health and safety. We are unable to influence your position on the Council's housing register.

For further information about your housing options, please see: Apply for social housing.

You may also wish to take your own action:

Self-help for tenants taking their own action against the landlord - Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

With this legislation, tenants have the power to take action against their landlord in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation. This can be done by the tenants without the involvement of local authority.

The remedies available to the tenant will include an order by the court requiring the landlord to take action to reduce or remove the hazard and damages to compensate them for having to live in a property which was not fit for human habitation.

More detailed information about the process can be found at: Gov.uk - Guide for tenants: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

Shelter also offer further more detailed advice on the Homes Act 2018 which you may find useful: England Shelter - Fitness for human habitation implied terms in tenancy agreements.

What to do if my landlord doesn't respond or do the repairs?

The Council can help if your landlord refuses to do repairs

Before reporting the problem to us, you must:

  • Contact your landlord - you can write to them or email them explain there is a problem. Example letters can be found on England Shelter - Template letters.
  • Allow 2 weeks after you first report the problem. If nothing is done, or your landlord has not got in contact with you, contact your landlord again.
  • Wait another week. If you have not heard from your landlord within this time frame, send a final letter or email giving them 48 hours to respond.
  • You must keep all copies of your correspondence with your landlord and we may ask you to provide these to us.

If you don't receive a response after your final correspondence, you can report the problem to us and we will investigate further.

Complete the Housing defects form

What will you do after I've reported a problem?

The Private Rented Sector Enforcement Team will follow the steps below once a Housing Disrepair form has been completed:

Your complaint will be triaged by an officer. You may be asked to provide photographs of the disrepair and you may be asked to provide evidence that you have followed the steps above and reported the issues to your landlord before your case will be progressed.

Once your case has had an initial triage, we will:

  • Send a letter to your landlord informing them that the Council is aware of the repairs and requesting that they arrange for them to be sorted out. We also ask that the landlord keeps us informed of progress made and when the repairs have been carried out.
  • Send you a letter to inform you that we have made contact with your landlord and ask that you also keep the Council informed of progress made. It is your responsibility.
  • Contact you to arrange and carry out a full inspection of your property if your landlord doesn't contact you or the Council in response to the letter sent.
  • Inform your landlord of the repairs required and give them a timescale for sorting them out, if they are classed as high-level disrepair.
    • If the repairs are classed as low-level by the Council then your landlord will be informed as to what they are and advised to address them.
    • Where there is high-level disrepair, the Council will take legal action against your landlord if they fail to meet the given timescale. This is to make sure the repairs are carried out for you.