Disrepair and maintenance issues
As a tenant, you have the legal right to live peacefully in a home that is safe and in a good state of repair. We can help if your landlord is refusing to do repairs. You may also be able to take your own civil action.
Contact your landlord first
When something goes wrong, the first person you should contact is the landlord or agent responsible for maintenance. If they do not fix the issues, follow these steps before contacting us. Then, if we serve certain notices, you will be protected from retaliatory eviction. Keep copies of all correspondence along with any evidence eg photographs, and don't withhold rent, otherwise your landlord could evict you.
- Write to your landlord explaining the problem. You can tell your landlord or letting agent about the repair problem in person, by phone or text, but you should also write to them or email them to confirm the details.
- Give your landlord 14 days to respond and arrange repairs.
- If nothing is done, contact your landlord again. Check they have received your original repair request, suggest times and dates to do work, and remind them of their responsibility to do repairs.
- If you haven't heard back, send a final letter or email to your landlord giving them 48 hours to respond. There are sample letters on the Shelter website.
- Still dissatisfied with your landlord's progress or response? Contact us. We will arrange an inspection and may take enforcement action.
Problems with HMOs
Tenants and neighbours of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) can report overcrowded, unlicensed, and poorly managed HMOs - Report HMO problems.
If you are in imminent danger eg risk from electric shock and your landlord does not act promptly, contact us for advice.
Report gas leaks immediately. Call the Gas emergency number 0800 111 999
If you have a social tenancy with a Housing Association or Residential Social Landlord, we will expect you to have followed your Housing Association/Social Landlord's complaint procedure and have been unhappy with their response, before contacting the council.
If you are unhappy with your Housing Association's response you can also take your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.