Repairs - Private Renters in Camden
Who is responsible for the repair?
Your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your home. This will include problems with:
- Electrical wiring and fittings
- Gas supply and boilers
- Heating and hot water
- Very cold homes because of draughty windows, poor insulation
- Wash basins, baths, toilets, and drainage
- Kitchen facilities such as a cooker, fridge, sink, worktops
- Damp and mould
- Common areas including entrance halls and stairways
- The structure and exterior of the building, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows
- Repairs needed to prevent pests such as rats and mice
- Fire safety e.g. fire alarms
- Other health and safety hazards e.g. no handrails to stairs
Your landlord is always responsible for these repairs even if your tenancy agreement says something different (unless the appliances such as a fridge belongs to you and not your landlord).
Your landlord should also redecorate, if needed, once the problem is fixed.
How long does your landlord have to do the repairs?
Your landlord must carry out repairs within a reasonable period of time. The exact timescale will depend on how difficult the problem will be to fix.
How do I report a repair in a rented home?
You should report any disrepair to your landlord or managing agent as soon as possible:
- Report the disrepair directly to your landlord or managing agent in writing. Visit Shelter for further advice on how to report problems and for a template letter you can use. Keep copies of all letters, emails and text messages that you send.
- Follow up your report with an email or letter. (You will need to provide the Council with a copy of your communication with your landlord/managing agent)
- Take photographs of the problem
- Keep copies of any communication you have with landlord/managing agent and photos so you can show what has happened to others, the council and/or redress schemes
If you are unsure on how to get something fixed by your landlord or letting agent, try the Check how to get repairs done in your rented home guide.
What should I do to assist with the repair?
- Keep paying the rent - You might be tempted to stop paying your rent to get the problem fixed quicker. You are strongly advised not to do this as it could make the matter worse and put you into arrears.
- Access to your home - Your landlord or managing agent will need access to fix things you have reported, to arrange gas or electrical safety checks and to inspect your home if any repairs are needed.
However, your landlord should always give you at least 24 hours written notice of an inspection, or ‘reasonable notice’ if the landlord or worker needs access to your home to carry out repairs. Reasonable notice may be short if the repair is urgent, but they should still make an appointment and not just turn up.
What happens if the repair is taking too long?
Please note: Unless the problem is urgent, the Council will only investigate complaints if you can provide proof that you have already contacted your landlord or managing agent. Where possible, you should also provide photos of the problem.
How can the Private Sector Housing Team help me if I have a repairs dispute?
The private sector housing team can:
- Provide you with advice
- Contact your landlord
- Inspect the property, if necessary
- Take enforcement action, if necessary
The Council will ask for details of your landlord or managing agent and will want a copy of your tenancy agreement if you have one.
If officers inspect the property they will apply the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) in order to assess whether there is a hazard to the health and safety of the occupants. This will determine the action the Council takes. If necessary, they can serve a notice on the landlord requiring works. In certain circumstances they might prosecute the landlord or serve a financial penalty notice.
Remember, your landlord cannot evict you for asking for repairs. This is called a ‘retaliatory eviction’ and you can challenge this if they issue you with a section 21 notice.
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