Advice on problems with housing repairs

I’ve been living in my privately rented flat for years. I generally have a good relationship with my landlord but I just can’t get them to carry out various repairs that have built up.

How can I get them to act – and what exactly do they have to do?

The law states that your landlord must provide accommodation that is safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm. If you have problems such as electrical wiring that you think might be faulty, or there’s damp, or an infestation by pests, the landlord has a legal obligation to put things right.

Landlords are also responsible for the maintenance of the general structure, and fittings such as boilers and radiators or basins, baths and toilets and the drains. 

The first step is to contact your landlord again, in writing. Include photographs of the problems. Keep a record of all communications and evidence relating to the disrepair.

 If that doesn’t prompt any action, the housing advisers at Citizens Advice can help with next steps. These could include contacting your local council (who will have dedicated officers for dealing with disrepair in private rented properties) or asking for a visit by the environmental health team. 

Tenants can take their landlords to court to force them to carry out repairs. However, it’s worth getting some advice and thinking carefully before embarking on this route. 


Free, confidential advice and help is available from South Lakes Citizens Advice on any aspect of debt, consumer problems, benefits, housing, employment or any other problems. 

South Lakes Citizens Advice, your local charity, is here for you.

How to access:

  • Call 015394 46464 – this is being staffed from 9:30 – 2pm 
  • Adviceline: 0808 2787 984 
  • Help to Claim (Universal Support): 0800 144 8 444