UK Landlord Is Refusing Repairs—Here Are Your Tenant Rights

UK Landlord Is Refusing Repairs—Here Are Your Tenant Rights

It's important to know your rights as a tenant, especially given how much you have to do away with to rent a house in the UK. Although not all, most landlords will do all they can to maximise their profits, including . Imagine living in a house where the taps are leaking or the ceiling is caving, yet the landlord won't listen to your complaints. It can be quite frustrating

What Repairs Is My Landlord Responsible for Doing?

It's your  the following:

  1. Their property's structure and exterior
  2. Utilities such as electrical wiring, gas appliances, ventilation, air conditioning and other HVAC equipment
  3. Basins, baths, sinks, and other sanitary fittings, including pipes and drains
  4. Heating and water heater
  5. Damages from previous repairs
  6. Common areas like staircases

What Are My Responsibilities for Repairs as a Tenant in the UK?     

According to the UK's private renting provisions, you are responsible for carrying out repairs if the tenancy agreement says you can or are supposed to. Your landlord cannot force you to make repairs – that's their responsibility.

However, there are some scenarios in which you might need to pay for repairs, including:

  1. Suppose you damage another tenant's house due to your own mistakes. Let's say water leaks from your flat into another tenant's from an overflowing bath. In that case, you're the one to pay for the repairs.
  2. You'll pay to repair any damage caused by you, your family, or your friends as long as everything was in the right condition when you were occupying the house.

But, remember that it's your obligation, as per the tenant agreement, to give the landlord access to the property for inspection so that they can carry out repairs. On their part, the landlord must give you a 24 hours notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it's an emergency that needs to be fixed immediately.

How to Handle Your Landlord by Yourself if They Refuse to Do Repairs

Your landlord is responsible for providing a habitable space to you, the tenant, without interfering with your privacy. Therefore, they shouldn't neglect their responsibilities of making the necessary repairs.

Most private landlords won't refuse to do repairs since they want to maintain the quality and integrity of their buildings. In case you want something in your flat repaired:

  • Identify what areas need repairs.
  • Gather the evidence of the disrepair(s). You can even take photos for evidence before the landlord can physically visit your house to confirm.
  • Reach out to your landlord.

What if the Landlord Refuses to Do the Repairs?

If the landlord refuses to do the repairs, you're at liberty to go the extra mile and even take legal action against them.

Build a Case

If the landlord keeps ignoring our requests for repairs, it might be necessary to build a case and take legal action against them. However, you might need a home or flat inventory company to help you gather evidence of disrepair and deterioration over time.

You should also compile a portfolio of evidence, comprising photos of necessary repairs, copies of medical notes showing that your health has been at risk, copies of letters you sent to the landlord, and receipts for any money you spent making repairs yourself.

Keep writing or contacting your landlord as you continue building the case.

Reach Out to Your Local Council Environmental Health Department

You've notified your landlord of disrepairs and made several requests for repairs, but they won't do them. If the disrepairs endanger your health or make the house inhabitable, contact your local council environmental health department or housing standards team for an inspection and help you build a case.

The environmental health department will conduct a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to evaluate if your house is safe for occupation. They'll give the landlord a chance to do repairs. Otherwise, they'll take legal action against them or help you do so.

Take Legal Action

You can take your landlord to court, where they'll be ordered to do repairs and/or compensate you for the inconvenience and damages to property or health. However, beware that court processes can be long and expensive. Ensure you talk to your solicitor or Citizen's Advice before pursuing the matter in court to increase your chances of winning.

Tips on Asking Your Landlord for Repairs

Before you go about suing your landlord, first apply these tips before you escalate:

Be specific about the problemYour landlord is more likely to take you seriously if you can articulate the problem. Include as many details as possible, such as how you’re worried about your safety and how long it has been going on.
Put it in writingIt can be helpful to put your request in writing, either via email or snail mail. This way, you have a paper trail of your communications with your landlord.
Be politeEven if you're frustrated, it's important to remain polite when dealing with your landlord. Remember, they have the power to evict you if they so choose. So try to keep the anger out of your voice and avoid making demands.
Give them a reasonable timeframeAllow time for your landlord to organise things. It might take preparation to make repairs. Your landlord might need to find a professional and first look for finances.

Here’s How Can DoNotPay Help Deal With Your Landlord if They Refuse to Do Repairs

Dealing with landlords can be difficult. Calling or writing to them almost every time is time-consuming and infuriating. But there's no need to worry. DoNotPay is here to help you deal with your landlord if they refuse to do repairs in 4 simple, straightforward steps:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay. 
  2. Select which issue applies to you. 
  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter. 
  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter, and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process. 

And that's it! You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.

What Else Can I Do With DoNotPay?

Apart from helping deal with a landlord who refuses to do repairs, DoNotPay can also help you with:

Join DoNotPay today to protect your tenant rights and fight back today!

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