If you're renting the property where you live, you have a right under law to a certain standard of accommodation.
If you feel that your accommodation is in a state of disrepair, then we can advise you on how to improve the situation.
The landlord has extensive duties to do repairs. These duties arise from a number of sources:-
A statutory nuisance is something that is:
Your local council is under a duty to take practical steps to investigate complaints of a statutory nuisance. The most serious nuisance is one that is prejudicial or damaging to health.
The main area of law comes under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, implied into every tenancy agreement granted for a period of seven years or less, is an obligation on the landlord to:
If any of these need attention, then you need to notify your landlord of the disrepair. These regulations do not mean that the landlord has to do work which you are liable for and its worth remembering that although you have a right to some repairs you also have responsibilities as a tenant to keep the property in good order. Additionally your landlord is not under a duty to improve the property.
A repair is generally different from an improvement. For example, replacing an older gas boiler that is not broken, with a new, more energy efficient boiler, would be an improvement rather than a repair.
In some cases, poor housing conditions are caused by the bad design of a building. For example, poor insulation, a lack of ventilation and inadequate heating can cause condensation and dampness. If a problem is caused by a design defect then it may not count as disrepair.
Sometimes, whether something is disrepair or not, will depend on the individual circumstances of the case.
Private tenants experiencing problems with their landlords may find it useful to contact the Tenancy Relations Officer of their local authority.
More information for Private Tenants and Social Housing on the Shelter website.
It's worth remembering that disrepair is a complex area of housing law. If your landlord fails to carry out the repairs or do them to the required standard, you should call THT Direct and we’ll put you in touch with a local advice service, or you can look up your local CAB.
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This article was last reviewed on
by T. Kelaart
Date due for the next review: 31/1/2014
Content Author: R. Kaye
Current Owner: Advocacy & Advice
Astin, Diane. Housing Law: an adviser's handbook, LAG 2008
Disrepair and housing conditions – actions by occupiers p329
Landlord's implied repairing obligation p335-336
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