Private housing repairs

Before contacting your local council make sure you have reported the repair problems to your landlord and given them a reasonable time to start and finish the work requested. You should report your disrepair concerns to your landlord as soon as possible. You can report repair problems to your landlord's letting agent if they manage the property on behalf of your landlord. As with most things it is often easier to get things done through negotiation; you can do this by sending a reminder letter if the repair has still not been addressed.

Use Shelter's template letter to write to your landlord to ask for repairs. Make sure you keep a record of all contact you have with your landlord about the repair issues in your property.

Your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your property and this applies to social landlords (Housing association or Local Council) and private landlords. 

Shelter outlines your landlord’s repair and maintenance responsibilities as the following:

  • the structure and exterior of the building, including the walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows
  • sinks, baths, toilets and other sanitary fittings, including pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • chimneys and ventilation
  • electrical wiring

You must use your home in a responsible way. Shelter outlines what would be deemed as reasonable repair and maintenance responsibilities for tenants as the following: You should:

  • keep it clean
  • not damage the property and make sure your guests don't either
  • carry out minor maintenance such as replacing smoke alarm batteries
  • use the heating properly
  • not blocking flues or ventilation

You usually are also responsible for minor repairs, such as:

  • fixing a bathroom cabinet
  • repairing an internal door
  • renewing sealant around the bath

Your landlord isn't responsible for fixing any appliances or furniture you own. They are your responsibility. You probably have to pay for repairs if you cause damage to the property, even if it's accidental. Your landlord could deduct money from your deposit to cover this. As a local authority, Tamworth Borough Council has powers under Housing Act 2004 to ensure your landlord carries out work to rid the property of health and safety hazards with an improvement notice or immediate remedial action.

Damp and condensation 
Condensation and mould can be quite common in a household, but the good news is it can be really easy to prevent. See our page on condensation and mould with a leaflet to download.

Revenge eviction 
A revenge eviction is an eviction process initiated by a landlord where a tenant asks for repairs to be carried out or complains about conditions of the property and then an eviction notice is served on the back of this. 

A change in the law has made it harder for some landlords to do this. The change affects assured shorthold tenancies that started or were renewed on or after 1 October 2015. There is no special protection that prevents your landlord from evicting you if you complain about arrears. The new rules mean a court can refuse to order your eviction if all these apply:

  • your complaint has been made to your landlord or letting agent in writing (by letter or email)
  • your landlord issued a section 21 notice after you complained to them
  • you complained to the local council because your landlord didn't take steps to fix the problem you complained about
  • the council sent your landlord a notice telling them to make improvements or that the council will carry out emergency work on the property to rectify the complaint

The new rules may also apply if you first complained about the repairs to the council because you didn't have a postal or email address for your landlord. Once the council serves your landlord with an improvement notice or notice requiring remedial action, the section 21 notice becomes invalid and the eviction cannot be executed. If your tenancy started before 1 October 2015, there's no special protection that prevents your landlord evicting you if you complain about repairs.

Rules that could protect you from retaliatory eviction won't apply unless you start a new tenancy or sign a renewal contract from 1 October 2015. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until 1 October 2018 to benefit from the new rules. To read more about retaliatory evictions please follow this link. If you are not happy with the conduct of letting/managing agent you should exhaust internal complaints procedure. You can also contact the agents relevant ombudsman scheme

If you have reported a repair to your landlord and they fail to ensure that repair has been carried out or would like some advice and assistance surrounding this please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01827 709709 or email housingconditions@tamworth.gov.uk