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What if my landlord won’t do repairs? Part 1
Whether you’re faced with a busted boiler or damp in your home you’ll want to get it repaired to ensure that your house remains habitable for you and your family. If you’re living in a rented property it is you landlord’s responsibility to do repairs to the fabric of the property.
If you’ve spoken to your landlord (or their agent) and they either refuse outright to make any repairs or they simply don’t reply, it’s time to take action. We’ll take you through the routes you might want to take.
Contact them again
If your landlord or letting agent has either ignored your requests or refuses to carry out essential repair work, make sure you put your request in writing, either in the post or by email. If you don’t hear back send them a reminder: leave around two to four weeks between your letters to give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to start the work.
Collate information about the repair work that needs doing
Should your landlord ignore your second letter or continue to refuse, it’s wise to start gathering together all the related information regarding the repairs. Collect things like:
- Photographic evidence of the damage.
- Bills or statements if you’ve paid for external services like a surveyor to inspect damp or an exterminator for pest control.
- All the emails and letters you have sent to your landlord, including any replies you’ve received.
- Receipts for anything you’ve had to replace due to the unrepaired item.
Ask your local council for help
If the repair work hasn’t begun in a reasonable timeframe, you may want to consider asking your local council for help. Before you do so, write a final letter to your landlord informing them of your plans to speak to the council. If they don’t get in touch or continue to refuse to carry out the repairs, speak to your local council and request that they carry out an environmental health inspection.
To find out your local council’s details, including how to contact them, head to the Gov.uk portal.
In your email or letter to the council, try to outline the exact problems and how they are affecting your life. You should also include some brief details about you and the people you live with – specifically your ages and whether or not anyone in your home suffers from a serious illness or has a disability.
The council can order your landlord to make the repairs on your home if they deem the property to be a risk to you and your family’s health or safety. In some cases they may carry out the repairs themselves and bill your landlord for the work. If it’s not as serious, the council may serve a “hazard notice” to your landlord addressing the issue.
That’s it for part one, check back with us here where we’ll discuss scenarios where you might consider taking your landlord to court.